When I returned to teach this semester, I was met with the brown puppy-dog eyes of a former student who asked me, tousling the floppy mess of sandy hair on his head, “Why can’t I be in your Spanish class again?” (Needless to say, that broke my heart and amused me at the same time) I think I laughed it off with something along the lines of: “I don’t make the rules, darling! You’ll have another excellent Spanish teacher this semester!” I previously wrote about my motivation to teach at LFCSA:
“Tengo tres semanas cada semestre para enseñar niños del tercer grado en una escuela que se llama Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts. Es una manera perfecta conectar estudiantes de universidad con los niños de comunidades cercas. Cuando recibí la oportunidad de hacer Los Feliz, pensé que era una oportunidad perfecta de no solo practicar mi español, pero también aprender sobre educación en la comunidad unfamiliar. Quiero que mis estudiantes aprendan en maneras diferentes y divertidas. Entonces, podemos cantar, bailar, y usar los partes del cuerpo y las voces para memorizar las palabras del vocabulario. Cada estudiante necesita saber que su voz le importa en el mundo, y este es una manera de practicar esto.”
(Loose Translation: I have three weeks each semester to teach third graders at a school called Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts. This is a perfect way to connect university students with children in surrounding communities. When I received the opportunity to do the Los Feliz program, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to not only practice my Spanish, but also to learn about education in an unfamiliar community. I want my students to learn in different and fun ways. Therefore, we can sing dance and use our body parts and voices to memorize the vocab. Each student needs to know that their voice matters in the world, and this is a way to practice this.)
This time, my students are learning about the medical world. While I maintain an emphasis on movement and performing arts in my instruction, I also incorporate digital media and storytelling! Using Apple Keynote, I designed an interactive multimedia storybook presentation for my students, integrating them into the storyline with clever tasks and prompts like, “Oso de Vocabulario tiene fiebre! You can help him! Que medicina necesita?” I flipped through the animated pages, stopping to explain and assist when the media couldn’t successfully get the lesson across, and my students reacted extremely well! I was inspired by their excitement and quick understanding of the concepts I imparted.
I can’t wait to return next week and try something new with my students! The lesson of the day is that Spanish and media and bears go very well, especially when paired with enthusiastic third graders who are hungry and deserving of innovative instruction. Chalkboards, begone!