January has been an awesome month for my Waldorf doll shop. My doll sales on Etsy have finally picked up again. I am so happy that I found homes for two of my big dolls. It is hard to let go of my babies but I am happy they have been adopted by a new family.
I also had a super month teaching. I love teaching German to 6th graders. It is hard to believe how one year can make such a difference. It appears that by 7th grade almost half the students suffer from severe "hormone poisoning" and cannot focus. One does not want to generalize - but it does seem that sixth grade students have much more respect for their teachers and have a residual sweetness about them lacking in the average 7th grade student.
Just a few days ago, I had a great teaching moment, when I happened to have my back turned away from the class. I hardly ever wanted to turn my back last year. As I was writing on the board, I heard a child say:" I love German class. I wish I could take it all year." That comment sure made my day.
Teaching foreign languages in the US is definitely a tall order. Many people don't seem to believe in the need of learning another language to begin with. A few people might actually see a need for Spanish because there are so many Spanish-speaking immigrants. But German? Why would you need that?
So we make lists of the whys and what-fors. The kids really like the idea of having a secret language to mystify their siblings. They also love the discovery of cognates. Why they had never thought that they already knew German and that is was so closely related to English. And as they are having lots of fun playing games they don't even know that they are learning stuff...
The weird thing about being a teacher in the US is having the watchful eyes of administrators on you. Just picture the Eye of Sauron. While I was growing up in Germany I never saw the principal come into the classroom to check if our teacher was doing a good job. Once you have been trained and have your teaching degree there are no tests or watchful eyes. Please, correct me if I am wrong.
Anyway, I find those "tests" very stressful and kind of scary. But I am sure that in the end it is beneficial, and this process may be helpful in weeding out teachers that are not very good at their job. But who knows. Well, I passed my "teaching test" this month with flying colors. So a little round of applause for this old lady rookie seems to be in order here!