Teaching your first Spanish class can be tough because, in many ways, you’re learning new lessons alongside your students. This is especially the case if you’re teaching a class virtually due to COVID-19. These three essential tips for new Spanish teachers will help you overcome your own learning curve so your students can thrive in the classroom.
Create a Light Atmosphere
Many students, whether they’re in preschool, kindergarten, or older, don’t want to be in a classroom during the day. This frustration can affect their ability to comprehend new topics, especially if you’re creating an overly strict or hostile learning environment.
That’s why, from day one, it’s important to maintain a light atmosphere. This doesn’t mean stopping a lesson to play Xbox, but it means having a positive energy during each and every session.
Aside from having a positive attitude, combine your Spanish curriculum with fun activities. Whether it’s reading a bilingual children’s book or learning the lyrics to a Spanish song, there are a variety of fun ways to make your lessons more engaging for your students.
Make the Lesson Personal
When it comes to essential tips for new Spanish teachers, one that you should always have at the back of your mind is connecting any given lesson to your classroom’s personalities. For example, you can tie the lesson into topics like current events, popular movies, or a beloved book. On the other hand, you can utilize activities that allow students to imbue their own personalities into the lesson.
A great way of doing this is through a process called TPR Storytelling. This method involves encouraging students to interpret Spanish phrases you’re teaching them by creating physical actions, and even stories, involving them. It might sound odd at first but once you implement it in your classroom, you’ll see just how great a tool TPRS can be at allowing your students’ education and creativity to flourish.
Adjust Your Pace When Necessary
Don’t treat your lessons like they’re boxes to be promptly checked off by the end of the year. Instead, treat each lesson with the same amount of effort and focus as the next. If you feel as though your students aren’t quite grasping a certain topic, don’t move on just because it’s marked on your calendar. Don’t be afraid to deviate from the curriculum if it’s beneficial to your classroom’s overall comprehension. Ensuring your class comprehends each lesson is key to being a successful Spanish teacher.