Why I Love Teaching Spanish

Daylight savings, shorter days, impending holidays, the fall semester dragging on—all of these things can make November a tough time of year for teachers. My mom taught me the power of positive thinking, so at this tedious time of the year I thought I’d write a blog on why I love teaching elementary Spanish. I started teaching Spanish to young children in 1996 in Austin, TX. Our first classes with Sonrisas Spanish were in a neighborhood elementary school and local preschool. As soon as I started teaching these classes, I realized that I loved it.

First of all, I love the Spanish language. I came to Spanish kind of late in my education. I didn’t start studying it until college, but I was able to pick it up pretty easily—I enjoyed reading the language, listening to and speaking it, and I even enjoyed learning Spanish grammar. I definitely was lucky in the linguistic intelligence department, but whether it was because I excelled in Spanish or just because I had an interest in it, Spanish has always made me feel good. I love the sounds and cadence of the language. I love the creativity and beauty of Spanish, and I love the many different dialects and accents that exist. They are like so many different flavors that one gets to taste and enjoy.

Second, I love seeing children learn. This is kind of the “no duh” reason why we are all in teaching, but it deserves to be said often. The purest joy of teaching is when you see the result of your work in those moments when your students demonstrate learning. When you see a face light up at comprehending a Spanish question and then answering the question in Spanish. When you see a child’s imagination engaged by a Spanish storybook. When you see the special grins that come when students communicate with each other in Spanish. When smiling students approach you in the hallway and greet you in Spanish. These moments can turn your darkest day into a bright and lovely joy.

Third, teaching children is just fun. I have often said that spending my work day with children is way better than spending a work day with adults. How many adults get to sing and dance, read storybooks, do art projects, goof around, laugh, and experience the joy of learning everyday? One of my tenets of teaching is to have fun with my students. I have found that when I have fun, and my students have fun, everyone forgets that we are actually working on something, and learning happens much more easily and naturally. I have fun by being myself, making connections with students, and not being afraid to have moments of spontaneous activity in class—not being afraid to simply be in the moment with young souls experiencing happiness and joy in a learning environment. That’s why I love teaching Spanish.

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