December 14, 2011 by k. liz
Hope you’re enjoying the holiday season!
11 Good Excuses
Please don’t tell me that you’ve never broken from the routine? If so, when was your book published, and can I get a copy? I was just looking back on some old posts and saw one from a particularly unorthodox day in my classroom last spring. So, I thought I’d share 11 reasons that I feel it is okay to have an unorthodox class every once and a while.
1. They’re dead tired. Let’s face it – which will hurt more, forcing them to work and then having to do it all over again? Do something fun, remind them that class can be fun.
2. Visitors. This might be a reason to have an extremely regular class, depending on who the visitors are, but in a language class, if the visitors speak the target language, by all means, speak!!
3. Interest spikes. If your class is suddenly interested in a certain topic, give it some time. It is a LANGUAGE class focused on giving them usable language, not a memorization or textbook class. One time my class wanted to make me a traditional food during the class hour. I let them, under the stipulation that they explain what they were doing in English while they did it.
4. You’re sick. Similar to number 1, give them activities where they are up and down and talking and fail to realize that you’re not.
5. Tragedy/News. Why push through curriculum when everyone’s mind is somewhere else? Use the topic to create a learning environment.
6. FAIL. Technology, printers, people, etc.
7. Exam results were just posted. Goodness, just change the lesson plan! I speak from experience.
8. Fight. I also speak from experience. A good time to reflect on why your students are having problems at school and what can be done about it.
9. Distractions. Like, a music festival outside. You really are going to have to switch from reading a boring passage to something a little more involved and communicative!
10. Unpreparedness. From your students, of course. I wouldn’t ever expect you to be unprepared for a lesson! But if they don’t have what they need, yes a lecture is suitable, but you are wasting everyone’s time by pursuing your lesson plan.
11. Missing students. Again, its just not worth it to teach something only to reteach it later. Make it worth the time of those who showed up.
And, re-posting this from yesterday: