If you’ve just been hired or are starting your first year as a Spanish teacher, you are probably a) super excited and b) quite nervous.
Hopefully we can help calm those nerves and make your year start out smooth.
Here are some tips to help get you ready:
- Room Set-up
Get in your room as soon as you can. Assess what space you are working with. Rummage through the room to see what supplies have been left? Start thinking about what you will need. Take a look at our Stocking the Spanish Classroom post to get some ideas about what might be useful.
The next step is making your room look “you”. You are going to be spending a lot of time in this room, so you want it to be a welcoming space for students and a comfortable space for yourself. Check pinterest for classroom decorating ideas. If you are the crafty type, there is lots you can be resourceful with. But don’t forget those bulletin boards.
Check out our classroom decoration ideas and our bulletin boards. We also recommend adding these classroom labels, word walls, and rejoinder labels.
You’ll want to meet and talk with your co-workers if possible to discuss curriculum to give you some general guidance on the year. Start planning activities for your first week.
You can also check out our Spanish 1 Teacher Book for plenty of ideas and activities to use throughout the school year. This will give you plenty of material to get started. Check out the Free preview to see what is included. One review says: “This packet SAVED me during my 1st year of teaching…and continues to help me now in my 2nd year of teaching!”
If you are interested in teaching in the target language, we have a teacher guide that will give you plenty of strategies for teaching with Comprehensible Input in our Language Teacher Guide to CI.
4. Welcoming the students
You’ll have to decide if you give your students Spanish names or not. But we recommend using the first day to jump into a lesson and speaking Spanish. Students are going to be listening to a lot of rules and expectations in many classes, so you might showcase using the TL to introduce yourself by speaking fast, and using no visuals. See how much the students understand (probably not much). Then give that same presentation with a powerpoint and speak slowly, with repetition. Ask students how much they understood the second time. (should be most). Let them know that they can trust you to use the TL and make it comprehensible for them if they pay attention.
- Staying healthy
Your first year it bound to be stressful. That’s ok. It is as much a learning experience for you as it is for your students, learning the material. Allow yourself to de-stress at home. And when you get sick, (because it is bound to happen) make sure you have sub plans ready to go. Don’t be afraid to use a sick day to rest up so that you recover quicker.
- Don’t reinvent the wheel
You may think that you have to create every activity and you’ll also learn that the activities you spend hours creating are usually done in 10 minutes by the students. Borrow from your colleagues. Join a social network for Spanish teachers on twitter or facebook. Search TeachersPayTeachers for lesson plans and activities that will save you time from planning. (If you can spend $5 on a coffee, then purchasing a ready to use activity that saves you your time is a no-brainer).
- Have Fun
Enjoy it! And remember… next year will be even better!
Thank you! Even veteran teachers like myself can benefit from this!