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Showing posts from January, 2016

Turning Corners in My Teaching Career

I have to admit that somewhere in my teaching career I turned a corner. Twice.

It’s not that I don’t love Spanish any more; I love language and the logic behind it. I love discovering new words and connections to other words, and I love when the lights come on for students. Teaching Spanish is fun!
At some point, I realized that I love teaching. It doesn’t matter the subject (gasp), I just love helping others learn. And I think it shows. It’s exciting and I like to share that excitement. Reading books, attending training sessions, reading educator and administrator blogs, listening to other teachers-all of these are thrilling and inspiring. I love to learn new ways to teach, and I love to experiment. Teaching is fun!
In an ideal world, I can go to work each day and have the time of my life. There are new lessons to craft, and old lessons to tweak. My “unread bookshelf” is full and I am reading any number of books all at the same time.
Back in the real world, some days are…

"Happy" is a Choice

My last class of the day is Spanish 1. It's really small, just 14 ninth graders. During class each day I try to make sure that I speak repeatedly with each of them, both about class topics and about personal ones. As class began on the first day after Christmas vacation, I circulated the room checking materials (more on this in a subsequent post), and inquiring about the students' vacation and current condition.

Carmen still hasn't let down her guard and doesn't fully trust me yet. Sometimes I see a little relaxing, but most of the time her defenses are high, her answers are terse, and her attitude is combative. When I approached her desk, she showed me her materials, handed me two late assignments, and asked,

"Why are you always so happy?"
Quickly I responded, "I love my job and I love my students. Why wouldn't I be happy?"

She shook her head and didn't say anything back to me, though when I walked away I heard her recalling grumpy teachers…