Reflective Teaching Day 23: Community Involvement

Write about one way that you “meaningfully” involve the community in the learning in your classroom. If you don’t yet do so, discuss one way you could get started.

This is (yet another) area where I know I need to improve. I have so many great ideas! Bringing in native speakers to talk about their countries of origin, their experiences in moving to the US, and anything else they’d like to talk about! Or others who may not be native speakers, but who use the language (I would settle for any language!) in their everyday lives and why. But around here, in this homogeneous part of the country, there aren’t many opportunities, and I don’t have the time or energy to scour the county for Spanish speakers.

I would also really like to implement a “culture night” where my students create presentations about various Spanish speaking countries and parents and other community members can come in and learn about them. We could even have teaching booths where my students teach their parents and other community members phrases or words in Spanish. We could play games, have authentic food, and generally just have a great time. But I haven’t done it yet. I keep using the excuse that, as a class advisor and an after-school tutor I have too much on my plate. This year I’m the junior class advisor so Prom is my responsibility, so I don’t see this making it into the lineup. Next year, however, I’m definitely making it happen.

So I’m not great at bringing the community into my classroom. I do, however, try very hard to bring the Spanish-speaking world in through the magic of the internet. I also encourage my student through some choices in homework to connect with the Spansh-speaking community online. Not exactly the same thing, but it’s what I have right now.

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