I’m returning to teaching after staying home to raise my 3 kids. I was taught to teach very traditionally in my schooling and I don’t want to teach that way! CI seems so much more organic. I just returned from an interview for a small private school – one of their classes only has 3 students in it! It seems like I will have a lot of autonomy but what do you recommend as the most effective CI activities for such a small class?? I imagine a lot of the activities are better if not necessary to have a larger group. Thoughts?
The three kids will be the hardest class to teach by far. How do you build a community when there is none? One danger is to become overfamiliar with the kids. Anotherr is that it is probably kids who last year were able to wrap their teacher around their finger and they are waiting to do the same to you and when you hit them with the eye contact thing, when they are used to making eye contact with verb charts. One of them, as I think back on my years of doing this, will try to take the other two on a crusade to go back to traditional teaching, that is IF they are not level one brand new kids. So if they are level one you are fine, they will come your way immediately.
However, how to build class size?
At the American Embassy School in New Delhi, India last year I had a class of eight. So I asked the kids if we could make up some invisible students. We did and that really worked. It is a far cry from TPRS, which has become (not originally intended to be this way by Blaine Ray but that is just my own opinion, formed after asking him what he thought about targeting vs. non-targeting. I feel that this book, with the Big CI Book for basic CI strategies, will set you up just fine with even that really small class. Although I would put my foot down and tell counseling to move those three to other classes. Absolutely.