Change is Hard

I used to care more about Spanish, but that was last year when I learned more.  How do you respond to a comment like that? A student decided that I needed to know that after us discussing our writing for the day. I can shake things normally, but for some reason this comment hit me at the core. If you don’t know already, this is my first year at my current school. The classroom environment and the population of students and teachers is still new to me even after seven months of working there. I have been trying so hard to prove myself, but I still feel like there is something missing. Don’t get me wrong. I have some awesome colleagues (Natalia DeLaat, for one) and pretty great students and I didn’t make the wrong decision by moving schools and districts, but the standards and expectations are definitely higher so there is a little more pressure.

I attended Central States 2017 this past weekend and while hanging out with some fabulous ladies, Melanie Stilson mentioned that we should give ourselves a three-year grace period before we can see what we can really do in our classrooms and with our students. Melanie, where did you hear that again? If this is true, I have 2 years and 5 months to go! Holy Guacamole! I wonder if there is anything I can do now that will make a difference or should I continue what I am doing and start fresh next year?

Old-You-New-YouChange takes time which I understand and my wise friend and colleague, Natalia said today that students will think what they think especially when they think conjugation and not understanding the meaning IS knowing. I am new and my teaching style is new. My students are adapting and not everyone is going to be happy at first, but hopefully they will see the value in why I am doing what I am doing. We are assessing on our current unit tomorrow and Spring Break starts Saturday so here is to a break and new beginnings.  Anyone else been in a similar situation? What did you do?



3 thoughts on “Change is Hard

  1. I agree that you need 3 years. But we also don’t mesh perfectly in all our relationships that we encounter so I figure there are bound to be students who don’t meet their own possible potential in my class. Oh well. It’s life.
    But the big thing… if your teaching style differs from what they’ve been doing for years in their language classes they may not understand the depth of their understanding. Ss may perceive learning through memorizing and studying paradigms. When we use CI and they start to ACQUIRE, it doesn’t meet their preconceived notions of learning. I still get Ss who struggle until we talk about their growth via proficiency levels.
    Good luck with letting it go!


  2. This was like reading my own thoughts. I’m in a new school and district, the only language teacher, with a lot of pressure, and have been told that my job isn’t guaranteed to me next year. I need to interview again with other candidates and someone else may boot me out. I love my job and would just like the opportunity to better myself; I know it takes time. I keep trying my best, constantly scouring the internet and asking other language teachers i meet online for ideas, using technology and all kinds of different ways to teach that aren’t traditional and just use the book. This is the encouragement i needed to hear today. Thank you.


  3. I always tell people that high school (or middle school) has only 3 years of memory. Hang tight through those, and then your teaching style will be what students think of as a “normal language class.” I just finished my 9th year at my school and I can say that year 4 is when everything began to click. Even before students begin class, they have some idea of what to expect, because of what they have heard from other students and older siblings. ¡Animo! Each year gets one step better.


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