Mind The Gap
As we go into next week, I felt compelled to share this energy-preserving teaching strategy that has saved me my sanity and preserved my energy. It’s super simple: Create a gap space between classes, especially when they are back-to-back.
We get so carried away wanting to instruct to the very last minute of class. This is especially the case with me when class is thoroughly enjoyable and going extremely well. Students are typically motivated and the discussion output is at an all-time high. However, these last few weeks of virtual teaching, I have had to dig deep within my tool box in order to recalibrate my 90-minute classes. Noticing that I had become DJ Quintero (and virtually exhausted by the end of class) with the tab-toggling remixes, I made two shifts that have made my life easier in the trenches:
Work Time Is The Best Time
1. Provide work time for students during the last 15-20 minutes of class. Teaching stops and the students can work on an assignment, review a Quizlet activity, or do a little bit of reading. I have not incorporated digital FVR yet, but will do in a few weeks.
2. Simultaneously. set up office hours for those last 10-15 minutes of class. So, while students are working, you are just a helpful presence online. This felt weird for me in the beginning because am type A sometimes and feel like I always have to be doing something. Answering questions is also work!
What has been the overall benefit?
- Students have work time which cuts down on the time they’ll spend doing offline activities, i.e. homework (some students work at a slower pace than others so this also counts as extended time)
- It really is a flipped classroom model because they have the expert there and can ask questions now rather than later.
- It has cut down on emails! They can get their questions asked during my office hours.
- I am not tired going into my next class. I have time to breathe, reset, recharge & rewind. I am not presenting or toggling tabs.
I hope this little hack goes a long way for you! What are other energy-saving hacks that work for you?
Please share hacks that have worked for you!
I finally started a FB Group! Teaching in The Trenches with A.C. Quintero! I am so thrilled to share my journey as a teacher and writer. Stop by and say hi! https://www.facebook.com/groups/993395751183802/
New Short Story for level 3+
Ángela and Kari have been best friends forever. If there is one thing that Angela has learned from their friendship, it’s that Kari doesn’t have the best luck in picking boyfriends. They’ve been down this road many times; Kari is attracted to jerks! However, that does not prevent Kari from falling head over heels for the new boy in town, Mario. While his mystique and “bad” boy image is intriguing to Kari, Ángela gets another vibe; and she just can’t shake it. Does she really disapprove of this new boy for her friend or does she have ulterior motives? Is Kari mature enough to meet new people? Is Mario just mysterious, or is there something truly ominous about this new boy?
Who am I?
I am currently a Spanish Teacher in Chicago, IL. I have 16 years of cumulative experience as an International Baccalaureate middle school teacher, high school teacher, and adjunct instructor. I hold a Master’s in Latin American Literature and Cultures coupled with a Master’s in Educational Leadership. These dual degrees have afforded me a vantage point from both ends of the educational spectrum: instruction and evaluation. I have been sharing my unique perspective on pedagogy and language acquisition for over ten years at national, regional and state conferences. I am also an accomplished author! I have authored several compelling comprehensible novels that allow students to solidify their language skills while experiencing a wide range of different cultures. Check out my resources below. Thanks for stopping by!
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