I recently read with envy about our colleague that has so much freedom to teach as he wants. My status as a new teacher in a department based on traditional textbook instruction leaves me vulnerable on many angles. I have had blowback from parents, students and administration. I have not been able to go completely textbook free but now there are students resisting to the point of causing major trouble.
My biggest issue is with students who had traditional textbook instruction in Spanish 1 and now as my students in Spanish 2 they believe I am not teaching them correctly. These are very emotional, vocal and I might say entitled students. A few of them are resisting to the point where the ship might capsize. It only takes a few bad apples.
My recent feedback from admin (because of this one group of students) is that the method may not provide enough structure and therefore students misbehave. I have been trying to balance both methods but it has been tough. I work really hard to engage students but to be honest my teaching style lacks the charisma that might win everyone over.
How can I make all of my students feel safe and assured they will be prepared for Spanish 3? The majority of students are fine but the few that want to go back to the textbook are a problem. Although I provide the textbook vocab list and grammar lessons, these students seem to get stressed or feel anxiety when I ask them to clear their desks and watch, listen and respond in the target language. I need defined weekly structure that is designed for 80 minute block periods. I only get to see my students three times per week due to the block scheduling.
I tried personalizing the classroom at the beginning of the year but was only somewhat successful with buy in. Now I have to decide; fight to keep the CI instruction or let these kids win and go back to textbook instruction. I feel drained emotionally / psychologically trying to do both.
It is tiring fighting a group of students that are so textbook driven and who believe this is the best way to learn a language. I am working on designing a weekly plan that outlines every instructional activity we will do in class until Christmas break. Perhaps simply posting this weekly activity chart will calm some of their fears. Or else posting something like this may just add fuel to the fire.