Just a tidbit from school today

A completely unrelated photo of my board after my first class of little sillyheads today.

A completely unrelated photo of my board after my first class of little sillyheads today.

Little Charlotte walks up to me in the hallway. She’s eleven and she’s the happiest kid I know. She bounces rather than walks sometimes.

Today she was getting a drink of water, and on her way she stopped to chat.
“How are you today, Anne?” she begins the regular routine.
We always give honest answers. “I’m a little tired today.”
“I don’t know. Maybe just because it’s Friday.”
I know.”
“You know why I’m tired?” This was a new twist in the conversation.
“I think.”
“Okay, why do you think I’m tired?”
“Because you speak English all day, and English is really hard. So you’re tired.”
I look at her satisfied expression and have another glimpse into the depths of the lives of my students.
“Maybe you’re right,” I say.

She smiles and bounces away, but her comment stays with me through the whole day. I hope one day she finds her L2 less tiring to use.

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  • Sandy Millin  On July 18, 2015 at 4:58 am

    Thank you for that beautiful insight.
    The board made me smile too. It’s very well organised. I’m intrigued by the story behind the egg and the dinosaur cocktail 🙂
    I also wondered if you write ‘Speak English only’ on there every lesson, and how often you have to refer to it.
    I hope you feel refreshed after a good night’s sleep, since I expect you won’t see this comment until at least tomorrow.

    • livinglearning  On July 20, 2015 at 10:32 am

      Or the day after! It was a busy weekend.
      Thanks you reading and for your comments and questions.
      The “Speak English Only” is a school policy that I occasionally refer to. It’s practically a blog post in itself, so I’ll save it for another day.

      But the dinosaur and the egg are good stories. My first class of the day yesterday was a silly bunch. They were telling me about “Jurassic World” (which I haven’t seen). Apparently there’s a dinosaur (called “indominusaurus” or something) which was created using a mixture of the blood (according to my students) of all the other dinosaurs. Cocktail was the closest word I could find to simplify what they were telling me. But mostly I was just writing what they were saying.

      The egg is a shorter story: in Korean English (if that’s a thing), a fried egg is called “egg fry”. So in my silly class, Friday became “egg fry – day”. They’re 10, if that helps.

      Thanks for the comment and hope you’ve enjoyed the stories. 😀

      • Sandy Millin  On July 21, 2015 at 9:28 pm

        Thanks for sharing those stories too – they made me smile 🙂

  • Zhenya  On July 18, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Hi Anne

    Yes, beautiful post! Wow. Such simple words of wisdom from an 11-year old student (who obviously was sharing these ideas with you in English?)

    Looking at the board you shared, I learned 2 new ideas for setting a meaningful homework assignment. ‘Mom’s sign’ is my favorite!

    Sudden idea (sorry if it sounds obvious): sharing daily board work can be an endless teacher development/CPD discussion inviting reflection, description, asking questions, making plans…

    Thank you for sharing, as always!

    • livinglearning  On July 20, 2015 at 10:38 am

      Hi Zhenya,
      Thank you for your comment! I love the idea of sharing daily board work. Even noticing my board at the end of my own classes and remembering the stories or moments that led to some things ending up on the board helps me see what of my values and beliefs are apparent.
      To be honest, I was just sharing it this time because I wanted a picture from my own classes to accompany my blog post, and I didn’t think there was anything special on there. So I’m really happy that other people found it note-worthy.
      Thanks for your feedback!

  • annloseva  On July 24, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    I am tired because I speak English all day. True story.

    • livinglearning  On July 25, 2015 at 12:06 am

      I bet. I bet it’s more the rule than the exception, students and teachers alike.

    • Chewie  On August 9, 2015 at 1:17 am

      I believe you, Anna. Speaking Korean all day wore me out, too. Speaking in any language all day will wear a person out.

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