I thought you and the PLC might be interested in a conversation I had with a student this week.
One of my first-year students is a lovely girl with a pleasant personality and outgoing nature. However, she constantly blurts in English, lets her mind wander, and disrupts class. Her current Interpersonal Communication Skills grade is a “1” (Far Below Basic = F). There are flashes of engagement, but these are so few and far between as to be negligible. With a gregarious nature, she wants to have conversations in English with students throughout the room but balks at engaging with me (especially since I insist that it be in German).
On Monday I was following up on comments she had made on Friday about her weekend plans. Finally she said:
– “Why do you keep asking me stuff?”
– “Because I’m trying to have a conversation with you.”
– “Because that’s how you acquire German and I’m interested in you. I won’t just ignore you as if you weren’t a person.”
– “Why not? That’s what all my other teachers do!”
– “Because I’m not all your other teachers, and besides the purpose of language is to communicate.”
This is sad for several reasons, among them that this student has internalized the perception that teachers aren’t real people, school interaction isn’t real communication, and genuine interpersonal interaction between teachers and students is “weird”.
I will continue my efforts to get this student to “show up” for class.
Admins don’t actually read the research. They don’t have time. If or when they do read it, they do not really grasp it. How could