Saturday, December 13, 2008

december dream




Every so often the schools close due to weather. Today was one of those days. It is really a gift to all of us in this hectic season. Of course, I worked on my lit review. But I also got outside to enjoy the day.

Grades closed Wednesday and my freshmen wailed. "Our grades are so low!" I patiently explained that they had just been assessed for the first time, and yes, the benchmark seemed low, but they were freshmen in a first-year course, and that was normal and natural. "But my mom will be mad!" I patiently explained that there would be more assessments and that their grades would rise if they were willing to do the hard work of learning Spanish. "But it's been so easy up until now!"

Sigh. Yes. It feels painless to learn, talk, discover, and communicate. But this is a school and the school does like to know what exactly the students know.

Other than freshmen freaking out the lowest grades they have ever experienced in my class (little do they know what Spanish is 2 is like, traditionally a roller-coaster of grades due to more complicated grammar) the rest of my classes ran smoothly this week. Spanish 4 is creating their own cafe and I am staying out of their way as much as possible (my job is to got to the City and buy the Exotic Ingredients). Spanish 3 is immersed in Maria's story and they are doing so well with it. They are also pals with a Dominican boy named Lucas and the correspondence is muy dulce.

The Spanish 2's are the joy of my days. Last class every day. Bouncing, happy energy. Ideas galore. There is a nice balance of risk-takers and cheerleaders. And I see real growth, kids coming out of their shells and making meaning of their worlds in a language not their own.

The food program is also going well. We have consumed about 10 boxes of fruit so far. All paid for with nickels, dimes, and quarters.

Also, the spirit of giving is present. Each class has chosen a gift for our dear volunteer from Panama. And not useless things either. Things like a backpack, fancy scrubs, and a stethoscope (she is a nurse). It almost makes me want to cry just thinking about it.

I love teaching in December.

1 comment:

rach :) said...

I have shed many a tear teaching in December... it is amazing to be a part of all kinds of growth...

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