Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Feeling Rusty

I have now been back face-to-face with students (in a completely masked classroom setting) for almost three weeks now, and I am SO glad to be teaching again where I am no longer bound to remaining behind my desk in front of a computer Zooming my lessons! After 18 months of digital/hybrid teaching, I feel like I have been chomping away at the bit like a racehorse ready to blast away at the starting gate, just waiting for the opportunity. I have SO missed teaching the way in which I was accustomed pre-Covid. I have missed being able to interact with students and to get them to interact with each other and with readings in the target language.

However, at the same time, I have noticed that I am SO rusty in many ways when it comes to teaching face-to-face again. I have been trying to get back into circling, asking processing questions, and doing PQA's, and often I find myself asking, "Now how I do this again? How did I ask questions before?" This past summer, I had served as a coach both for the online Acquisition Boot Camp summer class and for the IFLT Conference, where we addressed how to ask questions and I even demo'd how to do them many times this summer. But now face-to-face real time with students, I find myself hesitating at times, asking, "So what comes next again? What kind of question do I want to ask?"

But I also know this: it is perfectly okay to feel rusty doing this. Much like an athlete feels rusty in spring training after not having competed in a few months, so will I when it comes to teaching. If I as the teacher am feeling rusty asking processing/PQA questions in the target language, I am certain that students are definitely feeling rusty answering them! Heck, considering that I know that several of them NEVER showed up for a synchronous Zoom session last year, for many of them, they have not even heard Latin for 18 months!

I am finding myself re-reading so many past posts from my own blog both for instruction and for inspiration. This is the post which I have been re-reading to get myself back into circling, asking processing questions, and doing PQA's.
Most likely, I will write up a script of questions to use as a reference until I start feeling like I have regained my foundation. 

Where are you feeling rusty?

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