It is currently September, 2019, and this month marks 5 years since I wrote my first blog post about teaching Spanish. Looking back, that year, my 5th year of teaching k-8 (in the school where I still teach), was the year that I first came into my own as a teacher. Before then, I was treading water and trying to find my identity as a person and a teacher. Reading that original post, I see the words of a teacher who didn’t know how to handle a classroom and didn’t really know what or how to teach, but was positive that he’d eventually discover those things. I am getting reacquainted with a teacher who not only was tired of doing the same old thing, but was also ready to start relentlessly experimenting.
At the beginning of that post, I wrote something that I’ve written many times since in some form or another, which is, “Then, I had the ‘aha’ moment.”
My career has been filled with “aha” moments and educational epiphanies. It feels like every year (or every month…or even every day!) I learn about something new to implement in the classroom, I learn that something that I thought was best practice turns out to be less than effective, or I decide to throw myself into a whole new endeavor that promises to change everything about my class (I’m looking at you, TPRS, class novels, Pleasure Reading, nontargeted input, and video conferencing).
When I first started this blog, I called it “a journey into comprehensible input.” I came up with that tag line on a whim. I didn’t put much thought into it and I didn’t really think that it would even stick for as long as it has, but it couldn’t be more appropriate: It has truly been a journey.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I would be a presenter at regional and national conferences, would have a pretty big following on social media, or would have people seeking me out for advice. None of those things would be possible without this blog and without you, the teachers who read and comment on it. I would truly not be the teacher I am today if it were not for me writing down my reflections, thoughts, successes, and challenges on this blog and getting your feedback.
There has been so much support from so many other teachers, it’s incredible. I jumped into this community with both feet and there have been so many people here to catch me and make sure I don’t fail miserably.
This community of teachers, joined together through social media, #langchat, conferences, and blogs, is a truly incredible thing. Thank you for reading and commenting and sticking with me on this journey. I hope that your journey has been just as exciting and illuminating as mine!
I love you all and can’t wait to see you at ACTFL in DC in November!