Monday, October 18, 2010

Día 41 - time flying by

Today is officially the start of a new quarter for my students.  It's crazy to think that one quarter has already gone by.  But since we only have around 180 days in a school year, it makes sense that after 40 days, we're starting another quarter.

It's still strange.  I don't feel like we have come even close to accomplishing that much yet this year.  With me learning how to use TPRS and honing my skills, I feel like I am failing my students with not giving them enough of the language.

On the plus side, I do teach in a rural school district where they don't have very high standards for Spanish teachers.  My predecessors (as I have been told) ranged from:
1. a woman who didn't know any English that would sleep DURING class while her kids sneaked1 out the window to smoke... to
2. a woman who had taken a few classes in college that didn't have the training but the school made her teach Spanish

So this is a great place to hone my skills since it's fairly low on pressuring me to make sure my kids can perform well in the Spanish language.  Naturally I want them to because of my own pressures as a perfectionist and an educator.  But I have to be realistic.  Either way, they're having a much better time than ever before in my classes and they're learning to use the language without thinking about it.  Some of the more advanced language students (who might not be who you think) are taking some risks with the language and it's neat to hear what they come up with because of our telling stories.  They are acquiring it through storytelling.

But I worry we won't get through ENOUGH.  That's my flaw.  I'm so used to the Textbook mentality, that I forget I'm teaching kids language and we're learning about it together.  We cover what we cover.  It's personalized to their interests.  One class might learn more violent words for their stories while another might use more fairytale like words.  Either way, it's the language.

1.  Did you know that the correct past form of sneak is not snuck but sneakedI typed snuck and it gave me a typo message.  Where did I get snuck from?

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