I’m happily teaching Spanish at a rural, public high school in the great state of Nevada. I’ve been teaching here since 2006 and I don’t have any plans to leave. I’ve got the best students, collaborative colleagues, supportive administration and free reign to load my little darlings full of Comprehensible Input. What more could a girl want? I’m armed with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada, Reno (with a year at the Universidad Nacional in Heredia, Costa Rica) and a masters in Teaching Spaish completed in Guanajuato, Mexico, through Southern Oregon University’s Summer Language Institute. But my most valuable tool isn’t a framed diploma, it is my deeply rooted and genuinely personal belief that Comprehensible Input is the way to language acquisition.
I don’t have a “Come to Jesus Moment”, a moment when the skies opened up and A New Way of Teaching descended upon me like a dove. I don’t have an anniversary of the day I threw out my Spanish textbook and walked into the light. Actually, I am a product of TPRS, my high school Spanish teacher was one of the very early adopters of Blaine Ray’s method in the 1990s. I loved my Spanish class and I assumed I was some sort of language genius, destined to become multilingual and impress people. It turns out I am not a language genius, it was just that CI and TPRS made it so easy to acquire another language. (In college I confidently signed up for French 101 and struggled, clawed and fought my way through the textbook to earn a C my first semester. Turns out I can acquire language quite easily, learning grammar rules and memorizing vocabulary lists however…not my cup of tea.)
When I am not spending way too much time thinking about lesson plans and making up games to dazzle my little darlings at school, my hubby and I love to travel. We spend a few weeks a year on a big trip, and I spend the rest of the year researching and planning our next adventure. Closer to home, I spoil our Dog Babies, get dirty in my garden, make really delicious food and eat a lot.
I hope that this little blogcito can be a sliver of the Internet where we can encourage each other. May we learn while we teach and laugh at our missteps. May we seek new ways to load up our little darlings with Comprehensible Input but not forget that we’re teaching students first and language second. Welcome to the party! I’m honored that you’re here.