I went to get some milk tonight and ran into a former student. He’s probably 22 now and had a hard time in high school. He struggled with English so Old Me was shocked that he would sign up for Spanish… Didn’t he read the pre-requisites? You must have a C or better in English to come here! This is a class for 4%ers!!! He was lost in the mountain of textbook vocabulary and grammar structures and he failed. I just assumed that it was because some kids just weren’t cut out for language class… Oh Old Me! I wish I could go back and fix all of those kids who You let slip through!!!
The last four years I have had kids with all sorts of English grades, IEPs, opposites of 4%ers…. Man do some of them love to learn Spanish. Of course, spelling issues in English carry over into the target language but after spending a year with me, these kids know WAY more Spanish than they would if they didn’t get the chance to take the class… AND they enjoy it… Dare I say some even love it!
How do I get over the guilty feelings for not making language lovers during those first 13 years in the classroom???? Class was fun (in a textbooky way) and interesting (in an verb conjugating game sort of way) but few kids just loved it… fewer appreciated the culture and the people who speak Spanish. If only those old me students could meet New Me!!! Wouldn’t they be surprised??? Maybe I should plan a reunion… with a sneak attack of CI?