My students have to take a speaking test. This usually drives even the most confident of students to tears. I don’t like driving my students to tears, so I try to make it as painless as possible. I tell them to breathe, and set my face in the most sympathetic and encouraging expression I can muster.
Most of my students do pretty well, and I can tell they studied the questions, but like all teachers, I have The One Class. The class that sometimes drives me to tears. So I had already told the class that if the majority did well, I would have music and games, but if the majority say “pass” to all the questions, we would study instead.
Well, I almost didn’t bring the music clip because like I said, this is The One Class. I was most pleasantly surprised today. One student who is normally very shy and doesn’t speak much tried, and although it wasn’t an A, she did make more of an effort than I expected. I told her I was proud of her, and she looked at me like I was crazy. But I was proud, because she went out on a limb, and did something that was very difficult for her. Her spine straightened a bit. These are the moments I love.
The rest of the class did well, and I had a few more surprises, so we listened to some music and I gave them some free time and talked to them and tried to encourage them. Even though it was a Monday, it was a pretty good day.