Spanish Color Bracelets

The 6th grade kids are excited and showing off their Spanish color bracelets.

Posted: February 3, 2020

When I sat down with Ana Maria, her focus was criterion 3.2 Everyone plans for academic growth. “I think a lot about the growth I need to help my students make.  For middle school Spanish, it’s about being able to transition to the next level with language, and it’s also about helping students grow in a way they can be successful in high school.”

Establishing the learning environment to be one that supports students developing good habits is important.  Middle school can be a confusing time for students so creating consistent experiences they can expect can help take some of the stress away.  A great example of that is in communication.  I use Google classroom to share a lot of information and reminders.  I also think it’s really important to have regular opportunities for one on one, face to face conversations with students.  These conversations often get better results, helping students develop those good habits.  It’s so rewarding to see the growth students have not just in Spanish, but in who they are as students and people.

I finished up my time with Ana Maria asking what she loves most about teaching.

Every day is different; it’s very personal; I love that you can impact in so many different ways – content areas, yes, but also you are making a difference for another human being.  I love the ups and downs of the relationships, yeah it can be frustrating and stressful, but the journey, seeing the growth in those relationships over time, is so unique in our job.  I love the constant reflection and trying to grow.  I also appreciate that it doesn’t have to be perfect every day.  I can be vulnerable and show students what it means to make mistakes.  It can be scary too.   Students can read you very well, and you know if you’re having a bad day, it’s not their fault.  I’ve noticed through the years that the students act the same way I’m teaching.  If I put in energy, they have energy.  This imitation is delicate and powerful.   I love that we can be honest and even with the ups and downs but it all makes for a very nice job. 

Thank you, Ana Maria, for sharing with us!

Reflection: 

  • How do you prioritize and then plan for the areas of growth you want to see in your students?
  • How do you prioritize and then plan for the areas of growth you want to see in yourself?

Framework Criteria:

3.2 Everyone plans for academic growth