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ginlindzey

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Oct. 26th, 2016

This has been a very full year for me and I haven't been able to write here like I wanted to. It would mainly be about struggles and work and the insecurities of leaving what you know worked (up to a point) for something that seems to take too long. It's hard to think "if I were doing things the old way, we'd be on that chapter by now."  It would be easy to go back to doing things the old way. More comforting. More secure. A lot less risky.

But I have a Growth Mindset.  I am creative and clever, I know.  But I am not the fastest learner. If I were, then I would be a more fluent speaker of Latin by now considering all the Rusticatios I have been to (4 or 5). But I'm not. I would come home excited, do a little of what I learned at the beginning of the year and add tiny bits of spoken Latin here or there and then....go back to the old way of teaching things because I knew that I was creating solid readers of Latin, and that the methods I use--methods that I spent YEARS developing and writing about and speaking about, methods that I have wished that my professors had used so I could have been a better reader in college.

But I have a Growth Mindset and I WANT to change, I WANT to grow, I WANT to be better.  To that end I have listened and relistened to Tea with BVP, as well as Quomodo Dicitur.  I have read CI Latin blogs, participated in #langchat discussions, etc. And I have let go of many things that I do. However, I have only really timed how long we have stayed in Latin a couple of times this year because it was so disappointing. At best, only a 1/3 of the class time, if that. Some days not even close. BUT I keep trying.

Although being a participant at Rusticatio means that I have experienced most all of what I am trying to do first hand as a "student" as well as analyzed how the activities worked, I have only been able to replicate some of them. Asking a story, for instance, was something I hadn't tried but knew I needed to master. I finally purchased Fluency through TPR Storytelling by Blaine Ray and Contee Seely. When all else fails, seek the masters.


So this past Monday I tried to ask a story. It started great but bombed pretty quickly. In fairness I knew I hadn't prepared well for it--I hadn't mapped it out because I had been busy prepping other things for other classes. But because I was determined to LEARN and wasn't afraid of failure, I tried it not only in my Latin 1s but also in my Latin 3s. It was in one of my Latin 3 classes that I finally figured out with their help (I asked the to help me figure it out) how to get the story going. (* nota bene: I am not afraid of failure, but I don't like it, I don't like the way it makes me feel like a loser, I don't like the way it makes me feel less than--especially at my age. But we learn through failure. ad astra per aspera and all that.)

Today (Wednesday--we're on block) I tried again. I did several things differently including getting desks out of the way for better attention from students. I had a scribe write out the story. I wrote words on the board (but I had done that before). I had notes on an index card mapping out the direction of the story and questions to ask. My security blanket. It went pretty well--I was very pleased. Afterwards I did a delta/plus (things to change/things that were great) with the students. They liked it, they understood the story, they liked providing the input, etc. .And because I made part of the story line similar to the next story in the book, I'm going to have them do a compare and contrast discussion--in Latin--next Monday. (I only see them three days a week.) This Friday... well, Friday is going to be saved for movie talk using Pixar's "Alma." Creeeeepy.

Anyway: my point is don't give up the struggle, don't get discouraged. Fight through the frustration of failure and keep going. If you are new to CI like I am, I just want to say YOU CAN DO THIS.  *WE* can do this.