I recently enrolled in collaborative online course for language teachers worldwide that will focus on blended learning in the World Language classroom. One of the assignments for Week 1 is to post an introduction via a personal blog. Before I could post an intro, I needed to establish a personal blog. So, lots of learning going on here!
I live in metro Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA and am very close to completing post-baccalaureate coursework at Marquette University. I’ve chosen to make a career switch to enter education as a Secondary Spanish teacher (grades 6-12). During the advanced methods course, I was introduced to the comprehensible input, proficiency-based world language classroom. It was a true eye-opener. My years as a formal student of Spanish were spent completing worksheets, diagramming verbs, and memorizing lists of vocabulary and grammar rules. There was essentially no practice with speaking or listening; the curriculum followed the textbook page-for-page. During my first trip to a Spanish-speaking country it was easy to read street signs, tourism information and items posted on bulletin boards, but if I tried to ask a question, get directions, make a purchase or hold a conversation, it was a true struggle (often comical, I’ll admit).
If all goes well, I’ll complete the required student teaching during Jan-June 2014 and will then begin as a licensed classroom teacher in August/September 2014.
I hope that this online course (LTMOOC) will be the first of many opportunities to connect and collaborate so that I can extend my knowledge and learning. The objective is to become an effective Spanish teacher as quickly as possible for the benefit of my future students! I’m also hoping to participate in the summer institute organized by my state’s professional organization for language teachers.
As for interests, I’m a big fan of robotics. My sons participate in FIRST robotics and I’ve coached two teams at the FIRST LEGO League level. I’d love to teach at a school that participates in FIRST.
Thank you for your interest in my blog. I’m very happy to be participating in the LTMOOC and look forward to connecting and extending!