Day 18: What do you appreciate about your colleagues?
My colleagues are awesome! There are no other foreign language teachers in my district, but that doesn’t mean we can’t collaborate! I’m officially a member of the English Language Arts department, and my room is closest to the English teachers’, so I naturally collaborate with them most. We talk about literature – sometimes there’s some overlap if they’re talking about Neruda in their poetry unit or El Cid when they discuss epics. Literature and writing are obvious connections between English and Spanish, so we sometimes try to hit the same things at the same time. If I’m talking to my students about influential Latins and Spaniards, the junior/senior teacher might bring up Cervantes. On the flip side, if they’re reading, say, Hemingway, I might talk a little about the Spanish Civil War if it’s convenient.
But I don’t work with just English teachers. It’s harder to find overlap with, say, science, but some of those Latin biology terms ring a bell for my students when they learn a similar word in English. Just today we learned what the Vía Láctea (the Milky Way) was because the kids had heard of the Via Romano (although they had heard the phrase, I had to tell them what it meant), and they recognized that the lact in láctea probably had something to do with milk. So just because it’s harder to find connections doesn’t mean it can’t be done! Learning numbers is a great time to throw some simple math at my students, and some of them are crazy and love it.
We also bounce ideas, discuss students who are struggling, or who are excelling (sometimes it’s harder to figure out what to do with those high achievers than struggling students!). We laugh and talk about life and television and news and whatever pops into our minds at lunch. Sometimes we debate a little. We certainly all list all the reasons our subject is the best.
I work in a really great environment with some awesome people. They brighten my day and they are all so helpful to me. I’m so glad to be where I am!