On second thought . . .

10603805_625309060907511_5890980407448464086_nWhen I saw this picture with the definition of the best teachers on Facebook, I first agreed with it. “Yes, that’s the best teacher.” But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I am not that type of teacher. If I am honest with myself, I have to admit that I show my students where to look and also what to see. Let me explain. This week I was teaching the use of adjectives that are formed from verbs using either –ing or –ed endings. ESL students get the two adjectives mixed up all the time, so I might hear, “Mr. Morasci, I’m interesting in reading more short stories,” when they mean “interested.” Other teachers must have also heard such errors by ESL speakers, some causing smiles. “I’m boring.” “I’m amazing.” Notice the similarity of pronunciation of “interesting” and “interested in.”

I show a short video, which has two purposes: it gives the students a chance to practice the two types of adjectives in describing what happens in the video. What is frightening?  Who is frightened?  They are to write a summary of the video. The second purpose, and this goes back to the definition at the beginning of this blog, is to try to get the students to focus on where they are in the here and now. They have the opportunity of being at Foothill College, which allows them to prepare themselves for the future in whichever direction they would like to go. I want them to think about this unique situation that they are in. I want them to focus on parts of the world, where a college education is not possible. I want them to cherish their present experience here. That is what I want them to see. I find out what the students think through the second part of the writing assignment that asks them to explain what the video means. And I can assure them that they will never look at a 10-minute period of time in the same way again.  Here is the video if you are interested:  

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3 thoughts on “On second thought . . .

  1. If I am being honest with myself, I too think that too often I tell them where to look and what to see. I’m working on rejigging my courses with the goal of shifting towards the students-as-seers

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