I really did enjoy the classes. Because French has the same roots as English, it helped me understand my own language a lot better. I felt very exotic repeating phrases such as, "Where is the restroom?" and "Are you my driver?" But I was honest with myself. I was never going to use the language outside of the 4 required semesters. I just needed these classes to graduate, so I just did the bare minimum. Surely the teacher understood that.
I would just like to go on record and publicly apologize to my high school French teacher for being such a punk. Madam Rau, you were a great teacher, and I sorely regret not applying myself to my studies more when I had the chance. But most of all, I apologize for making you feel like you were completely wasting your time and that your choice of career was a foolish one. Because that's certainly how I feel sometimes when I work with some of my students.
For example: Amber says, "Class, we're going to work on these vocabulary words this week and you'll have a test on them on Wednesday."
The students respond, "Whaat!? Oh no, teacher! Please! Teacher please we have a math test that day. We need to study for the math test. Please teacher please! We have so much to do!"
Amber hears, "Look, lady, I'm only in this class because I have to be! I'm not actually interested in learning this language. Just be a good girl and give me the A I need and I won't bother you with completed assignments and all that mess."
Amber says, "It'll be easy. I've spent hours creating resources like games and research-based manipulatives that'll help you retain the information without having to work that much at home! Come on! It'll be fun."
The students respond, "But teacher we never use the workbooks. Why don't you do like our other teachers and just give us book assignments and let us work alone in class?" **This was literally a complaint I had from a student**
Amber hears, "Woman, you've got to get it straight. We just want to get the grade, finish the work, and then just sit and talk. In Arabic. So just put your little games and kinesthetic activities away and start boring us to death!"
It's so frustrating because I can kind of sympathize with the kids, but I also know how much I regret not really mastering another language! Granted, these girls already speak English leaps and bounds better than I ever spoke French, but golly does it ever make me feel like I'm toiling in vain trying to conquer these girls' literacy issues!
So students, if any of you are listening, at least pretend to be interested. Study for the tests. Don't complain when your language teacher puts in a little effort in the classroom. Because every time you complain, a little piece of her soul dies.