In August, I blogged some of my goals for this school year. Now that we’re a quarter of the way through the year, I thought it was a good time to reflect on how I’m doing.
My first goal was to Plan smart, not hard, which basically meant that I would outline units before I got to them and then do specific, daily plans by the week. Specifically, I said that my goal was to have lesson plans for the next week done before bed on Saturday.
While I haven’t exactly revamped any units this year ahead of time, my weekly planning has been going really well. It’s been a process of figuring out what my 2s and 3s can do and what will be or won’t be review for them. Some of the things they didn’t know surprised me. I thought everyone did a clothing unit in Spanish 1! But as I’ve started to figure out right where everyone is, my planning has been going pretty well. I didn’t revamp units in advance, but, so far, none of my units in Spanish 2 or 3 have looked much like last year. I think it’s going well though.
I haven’t had all my lesson planning done every Saturday, but I have managed to get good lessons planed by at least Sunday afternoon every week. I’ve mostly just been going with what works best for my schedule, rather than setting aside specific lesson planning time (although Saturday morning before #langchat is pretty common). The biggest thing I wanted out of this goal was to not burn myself out this year, and so far it’s going great!
Goal two was to get to know the kids. I was nervous about having all new students this year, but it’s been great! The kids are wonderful, and I feel like I’ve made some really good relationships already. Admittedly, I don’t know these kids as well as I did upper level students in previous years, but I don’t think that would be a terribly realistic expectation anyway. When kids comment (or blog) about liking Spanish or hoping that I don’t leave after this year, I know I’m doing something right. It really helps to keep those moments in mind on those days when things don’t go great.
Goal three was to plan a trip. I had already gotten the ball rolling on this before the school year started, and the planning is going well. I currently have 3 students and 1 parent signed up for my 2017 trip to Costa Rica. If you’re thinking about a trip, I highly recommend the WorldStrides company – they’ve made things super easy for me. I’m so excited about the trip, and hoping I get a few more sign ups soon! In the spring we’ll start fund raising!
My next goal was to maintain an active Spanish Club. So far, we’ve met once after school, and I have another meeting planned for later this month. I had about 15 students come to our first event, and I’m looking forward to the next one.
The goal that I am most personally excited about is attending the 2016 CSCTFL Conference. I haven’t officially put in my proposal to the board yet, but my principal is on board and I’m going to be looking further into this this month!
My final (official) goal for this year was to keep up with CI. Overall, I think this is going really well, but not perfect, by any means. I’ve blogged about some of the ways I try to motivate my classes to speak less English, and it’s fairly effective. I’m starting to come to the realization that a lot of the English that is spoken in class is initiated by me, especially as the “newness” has worn off, the kids and I are getting to know each other pretty well, and everyone is getting a little tired at this time of year. I need to keep working to do better here, but I’m still continually impressed with what my students can accomplish. Everyone needs to build confidence that we can do more in Spanish than we have been – myself included – and push ourselves to achieve it, even when it’s not easy.
Overall, I am extremely pleased with how this year is going so far. I can’t wait to see what else this year has to offer!