Teaching Reflections

Teach Thought 30 Day Blogging Challenge Day 27: Weekends and Holidays

Day 27: What role do weekends and holidays play in your teaching?

Weekends and holidays are time for me to rest and recharge with my family and friends, allowing me to put in my best work at school Monday-Friday. I work hard during the week and do my best to get everything done at school. I don’t bring work home in the evenings, and on the weekends I limit lesson planning and grading to an hour or two on Sunday afternoons. 

That being said, many of my hobbies support what I do in the classroom. I blog about teaching, and I read other teachers’ blogs. I listen to NPR’s Alt Latino podcast as I cook dinner and clean house, discovering new music and maintaining my own language skills. I travel every summer I can afford to, again, strengthening my own language skills and deepening my appreciation of Spanish and Hispanic cultures. While these activities aren’t “real work,” they certainly support and enrich what I teach in my classroom.

Teaching Reflections

Reflective Teacher Day 18: Similes and Metaphors

I have not abandoned the challenge! Here’s my day 18, just a little late:

Create a metaphor/simile/analogy that describes your teaching philosophy. For example, a “teacher is a ________…”

Learning a language is like learning to play a sport or an instrument.

It is a skill. You have to practice to become good. And how do you become better? By doing it. Just as musicians improve in their craft by playing their instrument, and athletes improve with game experience, you become better at speaking and understanding a language by speaking and listening to other people speak it.

I love what Melanie Stilson wrote for this prompt:

“As a teacher, I am a guide. That’s it. I don’t want to (I can’t be) the ultimate authority on my subject. I don’t want to be the only exposure students have to Spanish. I want them to learn words I don’t know, from sources other than me. I want to offer them advice on how to learn, where to go, and what they will find there. I want to guide their acquisition of knowledge, and I want to start them on a journey that, I hope, will last long after they’ve left my classroom.”

I think that’s also very true! I am the guide, the coach, the teacher – I plan learning experiences to help them prepare for the performance (life!), pointing to resources, giving feedback, encouraging, cheering, pushing them to grow and improve, and hopefully inspiring them to continue studying language beyond my class.

Teaching Reflections

30 Day Reflective Teacher Blogging Challenge Day 11: What’s your favorite time of day?

This post is part of TeachThought’s 30 Day Reflective Teacher Blogging Challenge.

Day 11: What is your favorite part of the school day and why?

I think guidance stacked my sixth period with all good kids. Seriously, there’s not a bad apple in the bunch. I teach same content in all my classes, but for whatever reason, sixth period is always the most fun! I think there’s a golden combination of personalities: a couple of really bright kids who notice every grammar nuance, who ask me smart questions, who go above and beyond in all their work and in every TL interaction. The quiet and diligent kids – always on task, won’t say much, but one-on-one their Spanish blows me away. The respectful class clowns – they make storytelling hilariously entertaining, but pipe down and do their work when it’s time.  No matter the lesson, it goes over the best in sixth period. Boring old reading and writing? They’re on it. TPRS? You better believe their stories are the funniest! Games day? They’re playing bingo like it’s Tuesday night at the senior center. Stations day? I quote: “Let’s do the hard ones first and save the fun ones for tomorrow!”  If I have to pick my favorite part of the day, it’s the time I get to spend teaching and interacting with this group of students.  The magic happens sixth period!