Monday, September 20, 2004

Holy crapola!

I went to Jamaica to the junior high. They put me in a class of 8th grade Spanish. SPANISH. I speak FRENCH. Oh god.
The first period was awful, because I had nothing. I talked about some Frenchy things out of desperation, and even brought out the MadLibs. Yikes.
Thankfully I had a prep next, and I visited an experienced Spanish teacher. Thank goodness, she was wonderful and gave me some ideas and materials (like chalk, of which there was none in the classroom, nor books, charts, overhead, anything). She ran through the pronunciations with me, and so after that it was much better. I felt fairly comfortable the rest of the day, at least with the saying things in Spanish part. It was super basic--alphabet, common phrases, days of the week. But these kids were brand new to Spanish, so they knew even less than me, hallelujah.
It was an exhilarating day, because it was my first as a real teacher, on my own in front of actual students all day long. A little scary, but I just jumped in and did my best. There were issues with talking and disturbances, some classes more than others. But I could also tell that I was reaching some of the students. More than half of each class, if not more, was actually paying attention and participating. Which was definitely a relief. Though still difficult, because the loud ones made it hard for the good ones to hear me.
Overall, it was a huge learning experience. I feel like I can do anything now, sort of. I'd love to go back to them the rest of the week, because all of them were like, are you our new teacher? are you another sub? do we have a real teacher? I would love to become their permanent teacher and work with them--there's tons of potential. On the other hand, it's not fair to give them a Spanish teacher who doesn't know Spanish! Not to mention the fact that I'm only certified to teach up to sixth grade.
Must get to bed and rest up for tomorrow. Wish me luck!

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