Thursday, November 29, 2007

Out of Body Experience?

I have wondered what it would be like to be in a place where I didn't understand much of what was being said. I know that this is an everyday reality for some students in classrooms all over the world. Today, I spent the day at a French Immersion school. It was an experience. I have taught at a Spanish Immersion school and that was nothing like this afternoon. This morning I was in a Kindergarten room, which was fine. I had a great time teaching Math and the assistant teacher taught the other lessons. Not to mention the students talked to each other in English. The afternoon was a whole different ball game. It is not that it was a bad day. We did not even have any mild disasters. It was just that from the time I walked into the room I barely understood a word that was said. Not to worry they had an assistant from France that taught them for the afternoon.

My experience is hard to describe. I sat and watched the clock for most of the time. I thoroughly studied the sub folder. (I will share more about that later because I learned some great things.) I walked around the room and tried to read all the great signs that she had posted. I looked all through the Math curriculum. It was in English. I reread an article I had in my bag. I did most of this with a headache. I spent less than 3 hours in the class and I was almost bored out of my mind. I have never had a out of body experience nor do I really believe in them. But I am almost certain that I would have experienced one had I spent a little more time in that classroom today.

I wonder what those students feel like that don't understand much of what is going on in their classrooms all day everyday. After, a few hours I was stir crazy. I probably would have started climbing the walls and wondering why classrooms don't have chandeliers. It wouldn't have been a pretty sight. Not to mention I probably wouldn't get invited back as a sub and I could cross that district off the list of hopeful future homes. (Because don't we all live at school?) Well, I can say I got a taste of it today. Now I just have to paste it into my mind and remember it when I have students who experience it on an everyday basis. I will have to ponder how not to forget. If any of you have any ideas, please enlighten me.

This makes me think of the importance of keeping students engaged......I will have to ponder on that at a later date.

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