Sunday, September 29, 2013

Let's look at the positive side...

I've been blah-blah-blahing about the downside of working in an inner-city school. It's difficult, yes, but it also has its shining moments. Today, let me share some of those.

Friday, during my last class, after a hard day, I was reviewing vocabulary through a translation exercise. I had created 10 sentences in French, using vocabulary I've given them since Day 1. The class and I were working through the sentences--when, voila!, I realized I did not have to tell them a single word. They translated all ten sentences themselves! Let me declare my amazement, my happiness, and their utter delight! This is a class of 30 students. I would say that half were engaged and participating while the other half, no, wait, I'll not go there. Half were engaged and reading French! That's truly what I want to share!

After they translated from French into English, they had to put five English sentences into French. They did that, also. My students are reading and writing in French!

(Note: pronunciation still comes as a problem, although face-to-face, I can get the student with the most twisted tongue to pronounce to my satisfaction. Shoot, my family has exactly the same pronunciation problems--IF I can get them to repeat anything! Speaking a new language after puberty is difficult for anyone. It's too embarrassing, but I'm saying that ALL my students at least try even if they forget it ten seconds later. It is difficult to pronounce sounds and words in a, dare
I say?--"foreign" language!)

On another note, the faculty at my school is so multicultural. One librarian is Chinese, there are about a dozen men and women from the Philippines who teach various subjects. I would say that a third of the faculty is Caucasian, the rest being African-American. I'm guessing that the faculty is about half and half in gender, that being a real deviation from a majority of teachers as female. All ages are represented from the brand shiny new teachers to two of us who came out of retirement to teach this year. And, of course, all our teachers are American.

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A favorite souvenir

A favorite souvenir
These are my two girls from Ireland!

Judy's shared items

Books on my very ambitious TBR list (*denotes read)

  • *Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever by Mem Fox
  • The Odd Women by George Gissing
  • The Zen of Fish by Trevor Corson
  • How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Raji Codell
  • The Cod Tale by Mark Kurlansky
  • In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden
  • *Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
  • Dag Hammarskjold by Elizabeth Rider Montgomery
  • The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet by Rabbi Michael L. Munk
  • Children of Strangers by Lyle Saxon
  • Spiritual Writings by Flannery O'Connor
  • Nightmares and Visions: Flannery O'Connor and the Catholic Grotesque by Gilbert H. Muller
  • The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor
  • Flannery O'Connor's South by Robert Coles
  • Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor
  • Sylvanus Now by Donna Morrissey
  • *Vincent de Paul by Margaret Ann Hubbard
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
  • A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  • The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel
  • Readicide by Kelly Gallagher
  • *Ruined by Paula Morris
  • Say You're Not One of Them by Uwem Akpan
  • Wandering Star by J.M.G. Le Clezio
  • Silence by Shusaku Endo
  • *The Assault by Harry Mulisch
  • Kari's Saga by Robert Jansson
  • *The German Mujahid by Boualem Sansal
  • Western Skies by Joseph Conrad
  • *The Giver by Lois Lowery
  • *Imperium by Ryszard Kapuscinski

School Library Journal - NeverEndingSearch


A semester course in one book about the Soviet Union. Click on image for my review.