This summer, I updated and reworked a course I had originally designed 10 years ago. In the school year of 2011-2012, I had a native speaker of Spanish in my 8th grade course. This course was designed to meet her needs as an advanced student and native speaker of the language; the basis for this curriculum is literary. This academic year, I have two native speakers; my plan is to provide them with the same opportunity as 10 years prior yet with offerings that better reflect their interests. I have selected literary works that reflect the experiences of young women, the ethnicities of my two students (Mexican and Colombian), and women writers from Spanish speaking countries.
Goals & Collaborations
What were your big take aways from your work/project?
This advanced course is differentiated teaching/learning at its core. My objective is to have these advanced students encounter appropriate and fair challenges in their study of Spanish grammar and literature. My big takeaway: with some imagination and reflection, a little differentiation can go a long way. I am looking forward to this experience and eager to try out new literary works and creative projects with these two advanced students.
How does what you learned connect to your goals this year?
One of my goals as an educator is to learn more about my discipline. Whether it be the exploration of a new author or the technological resources that exist for second language acquisition, I am eager to be a more effective educator. This summer work also reminds of the love and the passion I have for teaching the literatures and cultures of the Spanish speaking world.
How might this opportunity lead to collaboration with other faculty?
I consider myself fortunate to work and to share the Spanish program with Emily Otero. Our collaboration for these 16 years has been golden and one of the highlights of my time at Burke's. I am always happy to share my findings and resources with her. I am also happy to share the curriculum of this advanced course and my planning strategies with the other members of my department. Outside of the World Language department, I enjoy collaboration with my Burke's colleagues at large.
Would you recommend this opportunity? Why or why not?
I definitely recommend that every educator take the time and attention to evaluate and rework his/her curriculum. While this is not an act of "out with the old, in the new," a fresher, more current approach can serve both teacher and educator well.