Monthly Archives: June 2012



Hello there.

My first thoughts when talking about back talking in the classroom are:

  1. noises in the back of the classroom
  2. whispering
  3. bad words
  4. comments out of topic
  5. intended to lose class time
  6. Dialogue (student-teacher-student-teacher…)
  7. complaints and arguing
  8. negative situation in a classroom



Based on the Dr. Fred Jones’s Tools for Teaching “Dealing with Backtalk” along with my own experience I can talk about a situation dealing with back talking during a History class in California.

We were about 30 students in the class and most of us were Mexicans. Well the class was about American History and the reality was that none of us were interested of any of the history of other country besides Mexico. So there we were just sitting with no motivation or enthusiasm for learning. One of my guy friends sitting all the way back was constantly whispering and talking about everything except for the topic. After like 10 minutes he asked, “Why was the reason of learning something about a country that hated Mexicans?” So the teacher reaction was to actually answer saying: “You need to take this class because it is on your schedule but if you want to leave, feel free to do it but don’t ask why you get an “F””.

The reaction of my friend was to change the playing manner to a more serious attitude and started to ask more questions like: “well, you say that because you are a gringa and you don’t like us as well, so f….. it”. He left the class really mad at American people and American history. After a month he got arrested for painting graffiti in the teacher’s car (“I HATE YOU MORE THAN YOU HATE ME!!”).  He never return to class and got into many more troubles.

I think what happened was that the reaction of the teacher should have been different. She reacted really offensive when the student was only reacting to his own feeling about U.S History. She should have answer something like: “You will actually learn in this class the opposite of what you are saying, and by learning some of the U.S history will lead you to a better understanding of the culture and how it isn’t that different from your own culture”. She could have stayed silent also and continue with the class.

The teacher’s reactions affected this guy’s feelings by offending his own thoughts instead of staying calm and continue with the class. In my opinion she acted as wrong as the student when she answer back and said that he was in her class because he NEEDED TO BE THERE, not because she wanted to give him class. 




Hello everybody.

Once again we are talking about classroom situations and this time I will do my own thoughts about an article by Dr. Fred Jones, “Synopsis of the book Tools for Teaching”.

After reading the article, the first day I was in front of a classroom giving class came to my mind. Remembering the attitudes some students had and how the actions I took were correct but some of them were not the best ones to follow.



*THINKING ABOUT THE WORD DISCIPLINE. I remember looking at this word at the dictionary in my TKT class. The different definitions talk about punishment, following certain rules, obeying and behavior.

*WHAT WILL BE THE RIGHT DEFINITION? I don’t really think it exist a right definition but in my opinion the one that is the best is: training to improve strength or self-control.

*WHO HAS OR EXERCISES DISCIPLINE? Teachers, soldiers, parents, police, companies and I believe citizens in many ways. The one who exercise discipline in a bad way was Hitler who used it in the worst way possible.

*WHY WOULD THERE BE BREACHES OF DISCIPLINE?  To make sure we understand the importance of discipline and to make sure we don’t make the same mistake again. But this doesn’t mean that all branches are correct because some of them are really traditional like putting a student in a corner with donkey ears so that everyone knows he misbehaved. 



Hello once again:

I want to do an interesting reflection based on EDNA SACKSON’S BLOG.



1. How would you like to stand in a line and wait for somebody to look at your work and give their approval?

I just hated it! I don’t really think students feel appreciated when they are standing and some others are copying from the ones already checked. It is also unfair to wait a long time for the teacher to say: it’s wrong, do it again or change it!

2. Are you interested in listening to the other people read aloud one at a time?

No I am not interested when sometimes I can’t even hear well or I have to read at the same pace as someone else, I would prefer reading by myself.

3. How would you feel if all the decisions were made by someone else?

I will feel unsecured and unwilling to do things that someone else want me to do without even asking my opinion.

4. Do you enjoy sitting passively while someone talks at you?

Not really because I can’t keep still for a long time. I would like to talk back or walk around while talking.

5. Would you like it if your principal yelled at you (in front of others) when you did something wrong?

Of course NOT! It will be embarrassing and not nice at all! It will maybe interfere with the way I interact with my friends at school.

6.  What if some people were singled out for special awards and you never got recognition, no matter how hard you tried?

I will definitely feel underestimated because I know that I can do as much as other people. I would feel sad, less motivated and probably mad at the teacher.

7. How would you feel if someone insisted that you express your thinking in the particular way they chose for you?

I wouldn’t feel myself! I would feel like expressing the thoughts of someone else, I will just not feel authentic at all!

8. Would you like to receive a number or letter grade for every task you completed?

No I won’t! Because I lived it! And I hated the A+, A- and A. A letter grade just tells you that you weren’t as good as others! I do believe that feedback is much better in many tasks.

9. What if you were only permitted to eat, drink and go to the toilet at specific times, determined by someone else?

For the eating part I understand it because those are important and non-changeable rules in all schools. But sometimes is necessary to drink water and use the restroom, so I think is to extreme to use certain periods of time.

10.  Does checking your email or texting mean you are not working?

Well, sometimes. But if you are using it because you need to know something about the homework or any other information concerning school it is definitely something useful to have and use.

Sometimes is hard to understand our students, but hold on for a little bit! We were students also and had issues with some of the things we think are wrong. Let’s keep them in mind!



Hello to my readers:

As we are heading to finish the course and we have started our Module 3 I would like to do a reflection on how I felt as a student and some of the most important moments I had.

  1. As a student in my ESL class in California, USA. Most of the time I try NOT to remember the day I got to California and was placed on an ESL class with most of my other classes with interpreters who speak Spanish. I have to be sincere and say that it was one of the worst moments of my life. Why? Well, as a 13 year old teenager that had been forced to leave school and the friends I grew up with was even more difficult to overcome the situation.

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I remember getting to school and been placed in Mr. Gomez class (ESL LEVEL 2). I had been told to go to the 300 building, to be specific to the classroom 303 because I was going to take a placement test. So I came to the classroom when they were using the overhead projector so I WONT EVER FORGET FEELING THE LOOKS OF 22 PEOPLE WHILE I WAS STANDING AT THE DOOR and at the same time been asked my name and almost all my information in ENGLISH!! So there I was, OBVIOUSLY NOT WANTING TO BE THERE!  



*The most memorable moments at that time were totally negative. I had to adapt to the different way of teaching of my teachers, but mostly I had to adapt to the language because it was a total necessity of communication. Not only at the classroom I felt alone and desperate, it also happened at the cafeteria, in P.E, in my every day routine inside and outside the school. I believe the worst thing that can happened to you is to feel that you are underestimated when you don’t know the language you need, and that is how I feel with this teacher Mr. Gomez; like I would never achieve any English.



*But like in some cases, there was this amazing teacher Mrs. Hoffman from who I have the greatest positive moments during my learning process. As soon as I reached ESL LEVEL 3 I started raising my English level so fast that I learned the importance of having a teacher with enthusiasm, caring person, and always with something motivating to tell you. It was my enthusiastic and caring teacher who gave me what I needed the most at that time: TRUST! That is why she is and will always be my TEACHER MODEL of the skills and courage to have as an English Teacher. She had the ability to make us comfortable with what we knew at the moment and to make us think bigger. She always tried to help us to reach our goal by giving us the right teaching and the perfect feedback every time we needed it. This is why I will give the same strength, abilities and motivation necessary for my student to accomplish anything they want to achieve because I don’t want my students to feel the same way I felt when I was 13.