I realized something today while teaching a class that seriously just would NOT be quiet.
I am not here to be a teacher. I am here to be an accent. And when around 50% (or more) of your students don't bring their textbooks to class, it is time to do something different. Especially when the textbooks (in all honesty) are rather horrid.
Honestly, these older students have English teachers that are completely capable. They have classes every week with these people who know them better and can speak Romanian and control the classroom. My job is not to teach them English. My job is to expose them to English, and American/British culture, and my accent.
What better way to do this than by reading a novel?
Starting immediately, I am going to be basing everything in the classroom around novels. Each group/level will obviously be reading a different book, but for the most part we will follow the same format in grades 5, 6, 7, and 8. I will read the books aloud to the students. We will then have book discussions and do fun projects and chapter summaries and chapter questions and written responses and vocabulary.
I am 8 weeks into this thing, and I hope that I have found something that works. I would feel bad about "giving up" if this were not so cool. Plus, these kids should read Beverly Cleary and Roald Dahl and Lois Lowry. Kids everywhere should read these books- it's a new mission.