In all of my classes students have namecards. On the outside of the card is their name in BIG letters. These cards help me to get to know my students. During class I am able to call on them by name and I am even starting to learn some of their names by heart (with over 700 students this is definitely a bit rough).
The real magic in the namecards though, is on the inside. On the inside of each card is a space where students and I have a written dialogue with one another. They are free to ask me questions, make comments about class, or write anything they wish. I, in turn, answer their questions or ask questions of my own.
My students are really good at talking about things that they like and things that are their favorite, but they have a more difficult time talking about things they don’t like (it is almost as though they are too polite to say). In our written dialogues I am trying to encourage them to talk about their dislikes because it is challenging for them. Also, dislikes can give me some insight into who they are.
One question I ask a lot is “What is your least favorite subject.” Most of my students are way too kind to ever say that English is their least favorite. This guy, on the other hand, was very blunt and frank. I appreciate his honesty. Not only did he say that English wasn’t his favorite, he said that O.C. (Oral Communications), in particular, isn’t his favorite. O.C., by the way, is my class.
I love the way that he says that he doesn’t like English and O.C., but goes on to say that he will do his best to study. I really like his positive attitude. But, I also hope that I can change his mind. I hope that by the end of the year English and O.C. will not be his least favorite subjects. I hope that I can show him that English is difficult, yes, but it isn’t impossible. I also hope that I can show him what it means to communicate and how he already has the tools he needs to communicate in English.
Do you think I can change his mind?