I haven’t been a great blogger; not that I was much of a blogger before, but I have put a few out. A goal of mine last year was to blog more and network more. With being in school, teaching full time, and having 3 to 5 kids at any given time, I have gotten busy. None of that has actually changed, but I am sticking with the same goal this year and hoping to blog and network more often than in the past.
I began thinking about it more because I have been reflecting a lot more this year. I started this year with a new level. I am teaching Spanish 4 for the first time. There are topics and themes that I haven’t really touched on in the past so I am nervous. I am teaching Spanish 2 for the fourth year in a row, but I have decided to use Martina Bex‘s units to guide my year and my students’ learning. This is year is new for me.
A good friend of mine once told me to take things day by day and make small changes. Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell said the same thing at her Camp Musiciuentos workshop this summer so I have taken their advice. Although this year is new on many levels, I feel more in control than in previous years which leads me into #oneword: FAITH.
My students doubt themselves a lot. Anytime an assessment is given or I ask them to do something, there is always doubt. They either say PASS (which I don’t generally allow) or answer by sounding like they are asking a question. They are looking for that approval. I always say to them, “Have faith in yourself because I do”. They laugh it off or jokingly say no, but I can tell that they don’t believe me sometimes. We recently did a speaking assessment where students had to look at a storyboard and tell me the storyline. They were so worried, but they did AMAZING. Never have I done a speaking where so many students did so well so I have been thinking to myself….maybe I need to have more faith in myself.
I have been doubting myself a lot this year because I am in new waters, but this past speaking assessment has allowed me to see that my students are progressing and they are able to use the language in a more contextual or authentic manner. I cannot say all the grammar points or isolated vocabulary that my students know, but they sure can write better, speak better, read better, and listen better. I have always had faith in my students and I am realizing that I need to have that same faith in myself in order for everyone to grow and succeed in the classroom.