This past week and a half I was on vacation, hanging out with the cutest and coolest girl ever! It was glorious! It was thrilling! It was relaxing! It was hot, humid, and sometimes rainy, but it didn't matter. I was on vacation in Florida! No twitter. No email. No work...well that's a stretch, I always work—but, I worked less! And now, it's OVER! I've realized that I have exactly 13 more weekdays until my first day of school! OMG!
I'm freaking out!
Guys, I am scared! I have a genuine fear of what is coming this school year. Trying to get myself in order has been incredibly stressful. I'm feeling the heat! This school year I will be teaching Spanish I at a different high school and will also lead the world languages team as their department chair. Since I'm new to the school and teaching Spanish I, I know I need to set up and create a strong foundation for my students. Being the only CI and TPRS teacher at the school makes me feel like I have to prove myself even more! I know what is necessary for language acquisition. I've been teaching this way for 6 years, so what's the problem? Well I'm stuck! How do I make sure my students are where they need to be next year because I've covered all bases? Do I follow Bex's curriculum? Do I follow Jalen Waltman's curriculum (which is more aligned to Spanish textbooks? Do I meld the two together? Do I follow Señor Wooly's curriculum (I mean Billy is so cute!)? Do I use Amy Bachman Catania's resources? Oh, how about using Blaine Ray's "Look I can Talk" curriculum? Or maybe I should use Carol Gaab's, "¡Cuéntame más!" curriculum? Do I *gasp* (I haven't used one in the entire time I have been teaching Spanish) try to follow a textbook and complement it using CI methods and strategies? I don't know what to do! My head is spinning around and around, and it's really slowing me down in terms of preparing myself for the new school year. As I am the only CI and TPRS teacher at the high school, will using these methods and strategies ensure that the kids will be ready to move on to Spanish II? What if I don't cover things I am supposed to cover? What if... What if...What if... I feel like I am in limbo, and I'm not sure how to get moving. What direction do I choose? Being out of the game for a whole year (I taught special ed last year) is really doing a number on me.
the problem with too many choices
All the choices above are really good ones, but now there are so many choices and so many resources that it's hard to pick the "best" one (for me). Do you know about the Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz? Here's a TEDtalk about it.
overcoming my fears
Overthinking everything feels like I am dragging my feet in the sand, getting nowhere quick! As it should. I need to trust in my instincts, be flexible, and have courage. I need to believe in myself and sometimes that's hard. But, if I am ever going to fight my fears— and win, it must be done.
what needs to happen?
First and foremost, I need to make a choice. OK. Choice made (I'll blog about it later ;) ).Now that I have finally made the choice, I am exhausted. My mind needs to take a break. So, while not focused on resources and curriculum, I also made the choice to start thinking about my classroom decor, which makes me super happy, and for the most part stress free. My husband and I have set aside a budget and I've started using it on these awesome resources below: