Thursday, August 27, 2009

French Speech Competition 2009

Pourquoi ne pas les frapper tant qu’on y est ??!!!

Yesterday was a very good day. It was again French Competition day at Waikato University (thanks to the Alliance Française).

I took 3 year 12 and 3 year 11 students. Off we go in the van with Mrs Lyons behind the driving wheel. After few “ OMG we are going to die!!!”, we arrived safely at Uni.

We were warmly welcomed by Ruth Bourchier and Dr. Jennings, like always and everything went smoothly. I had to judge 24 students of Year 11 with the help of another French teacher from Hamilton.

Students had to produce a speech of roughly one minute and had to answer 2 questions (all in French of course).
Teachers had to pick the 3 best students of each year. It was very hard as all the kids made immense efforts, but we finally managed to pick three.

So far so good.

When I went to my 6 students who had already done their speech, they asked if they won. I had to tell then no (unfortunately!) but what hurt me the most it is when they wanted to know their grade. After checking their grade on a sheet, I realised that monsters teachers had given grades like 7/20 or 8/20.

Let’s be clear here. It was not an exam at all, it was not NCEA, it was a competition for students to meet other kids from other schools who study French, it was a day where students can be proud of their achievements, it was a perfect day for students to have their confidence boosted. Instead I have to tell my students now that they got crap grades!! I am so angry as I don’t understand why a teacher with a heart would do that.

My colleague and I (both judges of year 11) gave 20/20 to the first winner, 19/20 to the second and 18/20 to the third. As for the other 21 students in our group they all have been given between 15 and 17.

When a child that I had judged asked what was her grade I told her 16/20. She was so happy !!! She said to me “ wouah!! It is only 2 points from the third”. She couldn’t see that almost all the students had similar grades. For her, yesterday was a positive and wonderful experience and she can not wait next year to enter again the competition.

I don’t understand why teachers would do that to students! Kids have been very hurt… actually they haven’t because I lied to them and told them they got 15 !!!!

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