The First Adventure: My First Day of School Teaching Spanish

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July 2016- First Day of School

Hola todos! Thanks for joining me on my first Spanish Adventure. I’m here today to introduce myself and take you on my first Spanish Adventure.

Teaching happens one day at a time

In July of 2016 I stepped into my first day of teaching Spanish. Crazy. I never thought I would find myself experiencing a first day of school again. I never thought I would find myself experiencing a first day of school as a teacher- especially not a Spanish teacher! How did I get here? Let me tell you…

My journey to my unforeseen first day of school began in November of 2015. In November of 2015 I was serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA for a program in Georgia called Smart Lunch, Smart Kid that worked to feed hungry children outside of school hours.

Smart Lunch, Smart Kid and the Atlanta Falcons

While serving this program I decided to become a Substitute teacher at my former high school. This allowed me some extra cash (first teacher side job!) and my first step on the road to becoming a teacher. I discovered that I enjoyed being in the classroom. I enjoyed working with students (high school only, bless every single one of you that teach middles…). I began to investigate what it might take to become a teacher. I had two college degrees, which in the state of Georgia meant I qualified for a teacher certification program. All I needed to do was pass the Georgia Spanish Teacher exam and get a job to enroll in the program.

I began studying, and studying, and studying… if you’ve ever taken a language proficiency exam, you know the feeling. Unlike most teacher exams, the Spanish exam isn’t over the set standards (ie. the three branches of government, etc.) it’s over the entire Spanish language for the whole time it’s existed. Yes, I had to read something from the 1600s on my exam. Also unlike most exams, it’s not just multiple choice or even a short answer. It’s listening and responding, composition writing, and spontaneous speaking – on top of the multiple choice. I sweated it out for month before finally signing up for the test.

I told myself I would teach if – and only if – I passed the exam the first time. What do you know? 6 weeks later I got my passing results. Coincidentally, the weekend I got my results there was a teacher job fair in my county, so I went. I found myself interviewing and accepting a job that day.

First day of school with my best friend

This brings me back to July 2016, standing in MY classroom as a first year teacher on her first day of school teaching Spanish. To say I was terrified would not even come close to how I was feeling. I had zero teacher training- my classroom wasn’t even completely set up! – but there I stood, students entering MY classroom waiting for ME to teach them Spanish. That day, month, and year brought a lot of amazing experiences and challenges. I taught some wonderful students and worked with some awesome people. But the most important part of that day was that it happened. Day 1, Adventure 1 was done. I had made it.

You will too.

On to the next adventure…

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