I appreciate the kind comments from my readers on the previous post! I didn't mean to simply post that without something positive as well. But I think it's important to give a glimpse of the good and the bad that we teachers go through.
A week ago onThursday (after about 2 weeks of learning about the students and constantly talking in the language), I had some students who had already finished the first activity (getting to know you through PQA) since there are only three of them in the class. So we continued discussing things that were interesting to them. It's so funny how the narrative in their class continued to grow and grow. We discovered that one of the students stole boy's hearts and broke them. And she also collected hearts. One day she wanted to collect the heart of my class piñata, Pepé. So I slowly through asking questions created the scenario where she enters the class with two swords (one in her hand and the other in her mouth) and she slowly walks towards Pepe. While she is halfway there, my Speedracer cardboard cut-out (one of her ex-boyfriends), yells at Pepé, who is sleeping, "PEPE! NO! K WANTS YOUR HEART! I DON'T LIKE HER!" And K throws a sword at Speedracer and spits out the other sword at Pepé. It was amazing. The kids were engaged and laughing (as one would hope).
We didn't get to finish the amazing story because of those darn bells. So the following day, Friday, I decided we should finish their story about K collecting hearts and stealing Pepé's. Unbeknownst to me, my new Superintendent comes in before class and asks if she can watch the class. While she is sitting in the back, one of my students (unscripted) says as he comes in, "Man. I can't wait to finish what we were doing yesterday! That was an interesting story!"
They did the warm up, we got started and I reviewed the previous information, while adding some new words. Then we continued and finished the story before class ended. We took our student generated quiz, had five minutes to spare and one of the students wanted to listen to one of the songs we listened to last year (because he likes the drum set in the video). The song incidentally had the word "corazón" (heart) repeated over and over again, having to do with that days' lesson.
When class was over, the Superintendent had a big smile on her face and told me, "That was so neat!" And she shook my hand a few times and left. Later on, my principal told me that she was really excited about how I teach and had nothing but good things to say.
Native / Heritage Speaker:One of my students who is the only Spanish-speaker in his class, had been a little bit skeptical of what I've been doing in my class. He's nice enough about it and has been offering to help out as well... this is neat because he isn't the most excitable student. But in my class, he has offered to help. So I need to think of some ways to encourage him in that.
That same day last week (Friday), he told me before class that it was really cool to see how much Spanish the kids in my class were learning and how quickly they could learn it in my class.
Textbook student:Last year, a student told me at the beginning of the year that she couldn't really learn very well in my class and she had been talking to her mom, who told her that SHE had learned from a textbook back when she was in high school. I told her I had some textbooks that were just collecting dust and she could have one during the year to go through while her classmate went through something else. In the first/last ten minutes of class, I could go over something with her and then she could practice with the textbook while I worked with the class. She told me that she didn't want to do that and she would rather the whole class do the same thing (probably meaning working on the textbook with her). She only mentioned it that once and during last year, she did great and was enthusiastic in class.
This year, in Spanish two, last Friday (the same day as everything else in this post), she told me after class that she really saw how much Spanish she knew and she really liked how I taught. She noticed that she could answer all the questions that I made in class and she felt much more confident in the language.