teacher knows best?

February 17, 2010

It never ceases to amaze me how much of an adventure it is to work with little ones. And one of the reasons I keep gravitating towards such work is that I love the discovery process it is for me–oftentimes just as much as it is for the students!
At the moment I am thinking of my last lesson with one of my French students [who I will nickname Abby for blogging purposes]. Abby is 5 years old. Young enough to be a learning “sponge,” yet old enough to catch me off guard with her snippets of insight and with glimpses into her intriguing little mind.
So this past time we met, I had intended to jog her memory with a review of the past songs we have used as French learning tools, going back as far as early in summer of this past year. But she didn’t have a great deal of patience for this exercise and, you know, I decided that it wasn’t worth pushing it. Because what I quickly realized was that her impatience was not due to any lack of retention. In fact, she easily [and with a twinge of feigned boredom!] sang the words of the songs I prompted. But then she started to suggest her own lyrics and songs. Soon she had me singing a series of impromptu songs about various objects she set her sights on. Who knew that one could sing a cute French ditty about “drapes and a couch”?
But I did, and it proved to be a much more interesting language lesson than the one I had intended . . . never mind the test it proved to be for my own language retention over the years! Serves me right for assuming that “teacher knows best” :-)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: