This year I have 107 Spanish I students, 28 Spanish II students, and 16 IB Spanish IV students, and most of them are engaged (or at least on task) most of the time. But there are a handful that are getting under my skin because I am having to constantly poke and prod them along. I already spend as much time as I can trying to create engaging activities for the students. I think the majority of them understand and appreciate this, or at least play along, but I let those few who do not really bug me. I just need to let it go and keep doing my best for those who do attempt to learn.
I think Carol Gaab states it well on her blog post called “a few bad apples ruin the bunch” when she says:
“Even the best TPRS teachers do not achieve 100% engagement 100% of the time. Even the best [teachers] have students who will never reach their full linguistic potential, because, quite simply, they don’t want to.”
Student engagement is a tough issue, one I will probably address again in a later post, as it is also a burning issue for me, particularly in these times of ever-increasing teacher accountability. Also worthy of mentioning are the terms “on task” and “engaged.” They are sometimes used interchangeably to describe student behavior when, in reality, they are two very different things.