Saturday, November 5, 2011

Look at how cute. I walked into my classroom the other day to find this written on the board by an anonymous student.

The past week has been enormously exhausting. Matthew emailed me over the weekend to ask if I could do two additional hours a day teaching spanish, meaning I now have class from 8 to 10, 11 to 1, 4-5, and 6-9. Most of them don't repeat so I have to plan five hours of new material everyday and I am desperate for lots and lots of sleep. Unfortunately I can never get it here for some reason as the little boys who live downstairs wake me up every weekend morning with their cuteness.

It's a lot more work for me to teach spanish because, obviously, it's a second language but also just because I don't have nearly as many hours of teaching experience with it and have to find all new resources and materials and whatnots in order to plan a class. I've been giving a private lesson to one student for the last couple months but he has some sort of developmental disability so classes are a lot slower and we never cover too much in any single lesson. The new student, however, is from the Netherlands and already bilingual in Dutch and English, so her learning capacity is much greater and I have to plan A LOT in order to occupy our two hour lesson. I like teaching her though because it's really interesting to see how her language background interferes with her spanish. I'm used to how Americans trip over the language with their knowledge of English, but the Dutch thing is new to me. There are also times when I try explaining words to her using English as a reference - un lápiz is a pencil, for example, and un bolígrafo is a pen - and I'll find that it leads to the question "But what's the difference between a pencil and a pen?" English is her second language so it occasionally turns into a bilingual language lesson, which is kind of cool.

Anyway, all that's great but the class is a ton of work and I wasn't initially going to take it but I told myself I'd put all my earnings into a December trip. Trying to figure that out, though, because it's a lot more expensive to take a flight around here than in Europe and I'm not sure what I'm going to do. TBD.

By the way, I'm really happy about this video. Go to 2.45 minutes.

Oops. This one.

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