Thursday, September 11, 2008

I just don't have the patience to wait for responses to my posts. So if you are just tuning in, see the post before this and let me know what you think. But I just couldn't wait to post again!

First, can I just say that I love open garage? First Richard changed the oil in our Acura. Then he and his teacher diagnosed our brake problem--the master cylinder. Then Richard went and bought a master cylinder and he and his teacher replaced it! I love open garage.

Second, I am in love with my ESL class. I taught my first class tonight. And by "my first class" I mean my very own class. Last semester I taught one night a week, but shared the class with another teacher, who taught the other two nights. But this time it's all mine--I am their only teacher. I showed up and in walked 18 students. As they all found seats and sat down, I couldn't stop smiling. This is definitely what I want to do. They are from Mexico, El Salvador, and Peru. They are all friendly, happy, and excited to be in the class. I am going to do everything I can to get them to keep coming. It's difficult to keep students coming in free community classes. But I'll try.

I have a range of beginner students. All adults. I'm pretty sure one of them doesn't know how to read, yet he can easily spell out the letters in English of any word in front of him, which some of the other students (who seem to read just fine) can't do. I have others who seem to know a lot and are the first to answer questions or tell me what a word means. Today I somehow paired the two lowest students for an activity and they had no idea what was going on--they couldn't even help each other. Oops. Once I get an idea of what each student knows, I'll be able to put them into more effective pairs.

We had fun. We laughed. I got them up out of their chairs and talking out loud. They learned each others' names. They know who likes to work, who likes to cook, who likes to watch TV. And they came up with a wonderful list of artists whose songs we'll use throughout the year. Michael Jackson, Guns and Roses, Beatles, Brittney Spears, Elvis, Alecia Keys, Madonna, and the list goes on. Remember back in high school Spanish class when we had to sing "Ojala que llueva cafe" in order to learn the subjunctive? And we thought it was so funny? Fast-forward 5 years to Spain when my friend Diego made me a bunch of CDs of his favorite music--and he included that song! Little did we know in high school that our teacher actually knew what she was talking about and was teaching us popular music. If only I had know who Juan Luis Guerra was at the time. Or how his music would forever take me back to my salsa dancing days in Spain. Well at least this way my students will know what they are singing. After all, they picked the music!

I love teaching. Yeah. I think I can give up my evenings for this.


Ashley said...

Yay, your class sounds great! You must be a really good teacher. I totally remember singing Spanish songs in 8th grade Spanish while my teacher played his guitar.

Carbonneau said...

How fun! I was introduced to Shakira in Spanish class in high school, back before she was a blonde. :) Music really helps the teaching process. I am especially seeing this with my toddlers. Music can really get them to learn anything! I would especially love to find a preschool course with lessons all in spanish THAT would be fun!