Caveat: Tarot Shtick

I have a sort of fortune-teller shtick using my old tarot cards that I sometimes do with my more advanced classes. It's often very popular with middle-schoolers. I don't do it as much with elementary students, because they don't have the patience for it, and it can seem a little bit too abstract for them. Last night in my Newton2 debate class, a pretty advanced class of 5th and 6th graders, I tried it. Unexpectedly, I ended up recording the whole 15 minute episode, because I'd left the camera on from when we had our debate. It hadn't been my intention to record it, and, like any candid video recording, it's hard to follow in parts and boring or others – it's not really performative. But the shtick itself had gone on very well. The three kids were utterly fascinated by the cards and their "fortunes" as I read them from the cards.

Many people object to this kind of "lesson" in class, but there is, in fact, a clear and strong pedagogical purpose behind my in-class ramblings of this sort. First of all, when the kids are genuinely interested in this, they give their whole attention and because it's in English, that in itself is a great learning context. One of the girls asks near the beginning, for example, why I can't give them the printout of card meanings in Korean, and I dismiss it, saying this is English class. She goes on to pay very close attention. I let the kids talk among themselves (and to me, to the extent I understand) in Korean, because I think having recourse to L1 (native language) helps them to cement meanings in L2 (target language).

Anyway, I don't often post "raw" video of my teaching – especially a "fun" lesson such as this as opposed to something more conventional. I decided to just go ahead and post it, however. Partly, I see it as similar to posting photos, just more "high tech" – you can see me and what I'm doing, I guess… what my day-to-day life is like, and how I am in my "non-performative" moments in my classroom environment, where I invest such a high proportion of my energy these days.

[daily log: walking, 5.5km] 

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