Maria J. Fierro-Treviño
Summer is almost over and teachers are preparing for Back to School. <<Oh, wait! What if it’s my first time ever for Back to School? What am I going to find in my new school? Will I like my students? Will my students like me? ¡Híjole! I hear so much about school administrators! O.K. I have to remember that they are not the enemy. I hope there is a curriculum handbook for Spanish. Hmmm! I won’t be the only Spanish teacher, so I’m bound to find someone that will help me. Maybe I’ll request a teaching buddy. Will my teaching buddy help me with my own goals and objectives for teaching Spanish and for inspiring students to love Spanish? >>
Before ever walking into the classroom for the first time, you should have answered the last question. “Do I know my own goals and objectives for teaching Spanish and for inspiring students to love Spanish?” Ask yourself that question right now. Think about it. Write your answer in your journal or inside your teacher handbook. You must have this answer in your heart and your head if you are to succeed as a teacher. Everything else will fall into place one step at a time.
Know your material and plan your activities to make life easier for you and for your students. If you are not prepared for every class, your students will know it.
- Think about what you want your students to learn in each lesson (objectives).
- Study the material and work it over in your head.
- Write your lesson plan with specific steps if that makes you feel more comfortable.
- Plan enough activities for the whole class period.
- Have extra activities ready should the students be able to move along at a faster pace than you anticipated.
- Being prepared makes lasting impressions on your students. They learn to appreciate your efforts and they reciprocate by being active participants in your class.
Get to know your students as quickly as possible. Greet them every day at the door.
“Buenos días, Jorge—Hola Gloria—¿Cómo estás Susana?” You are inviting your students into your classroom to explore something different that they cannot experience in other classes. You are the teacher, moderator, engager, promoter, and director of all the scenarios that take place in your classroom.
You are going to have one of the most enjoyable experiences of your life or one of the most trying experiences. It is up to you and how you approach the managerial part of teaching, but most importantly, how you approach teaching Spanish and how you interact with your students.