First Meeting

We had the first Zoom meeting with Klara’s kindergarten teacher at the private school.

The first thing she said was, “I’m sorry, I have no idea how Zoom works.” Which is why we chose this school, so that’s all good.

They have more than twice the usual number of kids sign up for next year’s kindergarten, so they’ll have to expand. The public elementary school is open, so it’s not just the memory of lockdown. We are in Illinois, and the public school curriculum is going in the direction that you have to be very indigent to inflict it on your child.

Very heartening developments.

Teaching Strategies

I’m doing in-person individual oral exams for my students. Two exams per semester. Thirty minutes each. Unscripted and spontaneous. I ask them about the material and the readings. They answer in Spanish. It’s a great way to give individual feedback one on one. It’s a big time investment for me. But it’s a great way to let them practice with me and know where everybody stands and how I can help them improve.

Colleagues started complaining that students cheat a lot. Especially since everything is online. But this is the perfect way to avoid any cheating. If you haven’t read the novel I assigned, you won’t be able to talk to me about it in Spanish for thirty minutes.

I cancelled the essay this semester. Who cares about the stupid essay? Instead, we read and talk, read and talk. I anticipate a dramatic improvement in everybody’s Spanish.

I have also provided a free tutor who offers speaking practice any time they need. Found funding, everything.

I’m trying to move more people towards oral testing. People are resisting because they believe students will contest the grades if the test isn’t in writing. First of all, who cares about the stupid grades? But also, nobody ever contests anything with me. Have some authority, gosh.

Link of the Day

Here’s a great article by Glenn Greenwald – who’s hardly a right-winger – on how the lies about tye January 6 riot were manufactured and spread.

I don’t watch or read corporate media so this was eye-opening to me. I now understand how it happened that people believed the ludicrous fire extinguisher story and the zip tie story, and the armed insurrection story, and so on.

What I don’t get is why people still believe these sources. Yes, they tell you what you want to hear but is that adequate price for being constantly duped? How much is enough? Where is the self-respect?