I admit it, I’m a reality TV show junkie. My favorite show is Judge Judy. For 18 years, Judge Judith Sheindlen has been practicing her no-nonsense form of justice on national broadcast television, and I’ve enjoyed every second of it. I usually like to watch TV as a way to unwind after a long day of teaching, but I recently realized that my viewing habits might just help make me a better language teacher. How is that possible? Tune in to find out!
Judge Judy keeps an orderly courtroom.
Sometimes I’m a little unorganized, both personally and professionally. While it’s okay in my personal life, I’m beginning to see negative effects in my classroom. I’d like to borrow some of Judge Judy’s order and structure for my classroom — I want my students to know the daily routine, to be able to anticipate what the class will look like and what is expected of them that day. Part of that is having firm rules about what is and is not allowable in the room. I know Judge Judy doesn’t shy away from setting rules for her courtroom.
Judge Judy doesn’t get sidetracked
It’s amazing how every problem Judge Judy faces gets resolved in just over 15 minutes, isn’t it? While I don’t have the benefit of TV cameras and editing, I’ve realized that my own 50 minute class periods should be just as productive as Judge Judy’s courtroom. I need to set my schedule and stick to it, and not let my students sidetrack me the way the Judge’s litigants always try to sidetrack her.
The independent learning timer can help you to keep control of your time.
Judge Judy keeps it easy to understand
Yes, I love language, which is why I teach it. Sometimes I love it so much, I use it in complex and interesting ways. While this is great entertainment for me, it doesn’t always help my students understand what I’m saying unless I remember to paraphrase in simple, concise ways.
I’m thrilled that my television viewing habits have resulted in these realizations. I know that approaching my classroom’s schedule and structure with the same no-nonsense attitude Judge Judy approaches her courtroom will only benefit my students. Court dismissed!