Thursday, May 24, 2018

School's out for the summer

So I am no longer a Spanish teacher at my school. I had a lot of fun messing with people telling them this yesterday. I was assigned to teach French and German next school year and it's such a wonderful shot in the arm to plan for that. I already am filling my new Google Classrooms with all sorts of good resources for next year and wrote up brand new syllabi. After so many years of Spanish, 27 more or less, there I have to retrieve the French and German out of my brain. It's great mental exercise. Luckily I am headed to Montreal in late August to boost my French a bit at the LangFest, which undoubtedly will be a blast. All packed for Spain to hike El Camino de Santiago and to attend the 100th AATSP in Salamanca, all I can do now it to relax a litte. Tomorrow I will spend some time with my awesome grandson. Let's see if he's up for a game of checkers.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day

On this beautiful Mother's Day I thought I should reflect on the last stretch of school this year. After all, we are mothers to many of our students. We actually have more consistent contact with our students than their natural parents a lot of times, sad or strange as that may sound. Students reach out to us in a variety of ways. Sometimes they just blurt out their needs, and often their calls for help could manifest themselves in terms or odd or inappropriate behaviors. I am always keenly aware of such calls for help with my students. Earlier this semester one of my students was apparently abandoned by his mother who went off to Arizona for several days, stranding him in town with no particular place to stay at, nor with food or clothing for that matter. I was happy that our guidance department was able to assist in this case upon my gentle suggestions for help. So school is once again coming to an end this year. I have one week plus two days remaining- 32 years of teaching, with 17 in my county. I need a break from this and I will get just that with our upcoming hike of the Camino de Santiago in Spain, the French Way as they call it. This morning I actually packed most of the stuff just to see if it would fit in my carry on and backpack. I think I will be fine, just have to figure out what to wear for the AATSP conference that follows the hike. One of my daughters suggested to get a plain black skirt with four different tops. That could work. Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Last Day for Seniors (before exams)

Today was the last day for seniors, well, they still have to take semester exams. So another year is done. This was my 32nd year of high school teaching. This was a learning experience for me as much as for the students as I shared with my students many different new teaching strategies and tools for language learning. It's funny, I really never do the same thing from one year to the next. My students recorded videos on Flipgrid a few days ago to give the new classes advice on how to succeed in Spanish class. They practically all recommended they get a new phone since they will be doing so much work on apps. We did use apps for Classcraft, Metaverse, Google Classroom, Flipgrid, GooseChase and a few more. But I told them you never know what I will come up with next school year. After attending the AATSP conference in Salamanca, Spain this summer there's no telling what I will do. Teaching is such an exciting and ever evolving profession. It's truly incredible if you think about it. What a time to be a teacher! I really liked the station system we tried on Cinco de Mayo and the Hotel chapter. It was so much fun to have the groups come up to me and check into the Valle Youth Hostel. The one on one conversations helped a lot. And the students loved the rotations since they got to move around and do a variety of different tasks. So I will definitely do stations at least once every chapter. We will also keep playing Classcraft as it is the best classroom management system imaginable. And Gimkit, best game out there to motivate students to learn vocabulary, will stay with us. Of course, Google Classroom is the best way to keep it all together. So I will definitely keep using it with my upcoming classes. Other than that, I am wide open to new and better things in the world of language education. Bring it on!