Friday, April 18, 2008

no habla Espanol

I'm teaching Spanish today. I know barely any Spanish except for some greetings and naughty words.

I really enjoy subbing. The day is well structured, the kids are great, the pay is surprisingly good, and it is a new challenge every day.

But this is what I don't like about subbing. As a substitute teacher your authority comes via threats. For instance:

get this work done or else it's homework
be quiet or else your teacher will be angry
listen to me or else you will go to the Principal's office
be respectful or else you don't have recess today

I don't see the benefit of using these tactics. Sure, it gets the kids to respond but any relationship built on threats resorts to fear not love. Permanent teachers have the advantage of seeing the kids every day and building relationships to nurture and mentor them. I on the other hand do not.

So what do I do? Well, in the short time I have with them I try to create as deep of a relationship as possible. How?

I call out their names for attendance and ask them how they want to be called.
I tell them about where I am at in life.
I share a story maybe from the news.
Better yet I share them a story from my own life that is connected to their class. Like....

How most of my Spanish is from movies I've watched and by the way these are my five favorite movies.
Or I don't know Spanish but it would have been helpful when I went to Venezuela to do a mission trip.
Or I know some Spanish by watching a lot of soccer which is one of my passions.

I try to connect my life with their life. I try to make a friendship and than teach.

1 comment:

Eric, Melissa, Madeline, and Hannah Weis (and Sammy the dog) said...

You crack me up Mike. You would have been a good teacher ... it seems to run in the family. I bet the kids enjoy having a "young" person as their sub. I know I always did!