Teachin' Spanish For America

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Apr 07 2013

Spring Break, or, Why I Worked All Break

Tonight is the last night of my spring break, and the last day I will have off (besides weekends, which barely count ;)) until June 28.  There is much to be said.

First off, the short answer to the question “Srta. D, why did you work over your spring break?” is because I needed some inspiration.  But why did I need some inspiration?  Ah, that’s a more interesting question.

Perhaps I needed inspiration because the issues I have had with my placement school and the wrap up of my commitment have allowed me to accept a position as a middle school Spanish teacher at a different school in Newark.  Because I am a responsible human being, and because I believe that Spanish is important (even when the actions of others say that they don’t), and most especially because I love my kids, I let my school know as soon as I accepted.  The result has been some level of awkward for me, but also I’ve found myself really longing for the end of this era, and the start of one that I think will be better for me and for any future students I have.  I have been looking for inspiration to keep giving 150% through that final push, and working over this break has done that for me.

Further, I applied to and was waitlisted for a role as a CMA (Corps Member Advisor) at the 2013 Philly Institute.  I thought my interview was really good and that I was well-qualified, and so it was disappointing to me to be put on the waitlist.  A fellow specialist CM posits that my specialist status has something to do with the matter, but I’m not so sure.  Either way, I hold on hope that they’ll find me a position, but in the mean time, yeah, I’ll admit it, I’m bummed.  Meh.

So, Srta. D, how will working over break help with these two issues?  That’s a very good question.  I think simply trudging through all the work I have to do (grading exams, cleaning my work space, writing curriculum) would have left me just as tired as when I started.  Instead, I wrote all my lesson plans to the end of the year on Monday (!!!), and then I observed classrooms on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  I spent like 2/3 of the day there, and the rest of my day and home was spent cooking, cleaning and relaxing.

There is nothing that gets me fired up to do better for my kids than observing, especially since all the TFA and certification videos in the whole world seem to lack excellent Spanish teachers, and ESPECIALLY excellent early elementary Spanish teachers. I took something like 20 pages of notes, and then boiled down one page of “takeaways” to bring into my classroom.  I feel energized, rested, and ready to be in the classroom on Monday.  I hope that the things that I’ve seen translate into these last 2.5 months, and that we end the year strong to get my escolares ready for a new teacher next year :)

3 Responses

  1. Maestra02

    heikemarie, I was wondering if you could review my practice writing assignments for the spanish world language praxis exam? I am in need of help. I will take the praxis once again and it would be helpful if I had another viewpoint on my writing and speaking samples.

  2. Maestra02

    If you have anytime available. Please email me at [email protected]

    • I’d be happy to, but neither that email address or the one that you signed up with work :(

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