Putting trust into action

by Elena Giudice
@SraGiudice

We as teachers act as anchors for trust in our schools. Administrators trust us to do our jobs, parents trust their children to us, and students come to us because they trust us. In the world language classroom, we need to work even harder to build that trust with our students if indeed we want them to be engaged where it matters most, orally.

But we cannot talk about trust without discussing risk-taking! I know I am a bit biased, but I can’t think of a class where there is more risk-taking involved than in languages. Students risk making mistakes each time they offer answers. Mistakes in grammar, choice of word, pronunciation, stress, or tone. No wonder students withdraw from participating. I’m always left thinking about those “passive” students.  Are they bored? Tired? Confused? Unmotivated? Introverts? What if they are just afraid to take risks? To take risks you simply must trust.

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