I am ready. I am finally in the perfect mood for writing a post a post about foreign language*.
Let me start off with that I am sure that all of my teachers, on the inside, are good people. Like they definitely don't walk around cutting the brakes of wheelchairs or eating kittens or anything of the like. That is my only disclaimer.
Since I started taking high school and college level foreign language, I have gone through seven teachers. And now I will list them.
Vinciguer(r)a- Spanish 1 the first time around. Pretty sure Vinciguera wasn't her actual last name and that she changed it to be Vinciguera to make her sound spanish-y-er. I don't remember as much about her Spanish teaching as I do about how she always tried to teach us life skills and integrity. Seeing as I took this class almost 5 years ago, I really don't remember it much at all.
Vakos- Spanish 1 the second time around. I remember Vakos better. She was a native speaker, and I really liked her as a teacher. She pushed us hard to really learn the skills we were supposed to be learning and I loved that about her. We didn't always get along because I had already taken Spanish 1, and seeing as I already knew all of the content of the class, I slacked off pretty hard with the work and earned A's on the tests. But either way, she was a great teacher. Always spoke Spanish in the class which is really important, especially in the first year.
Bendik- Spanish 2 and 3H. I love Senora Bendik so much. Her teaching style was similar to Vakos's. Bendik usually pushed us pretty hard too, and there was a fair amount of homework in her classes that I didn't do either. She knew the importance of constantly speaking in Spanish during class and it helped me gain the near fluency I have now. She was always willing to help students prepare for tests so long as the student put in all of the work theirself. I miss Bendik so much this year and wish she was teaching 5AP for next year.
Podway- Spanish 4H and next year I'll have her again for Spanish 5 AP. Podway is nice, but not that good of a foreign language teacher. It's safe to say that since last year, when my entire class had Mrs. Bendik for Spanish, most everybody's skills have degenerated. Podway tries her best to teach us, but the honest truth is that she puts to much faith in practicing grammar on paper instead of using it in real casual conversation. No one knows how to speak Spanish anymore because we don't speak Spanish in class. Today I tried to get us speaking casual Spanish and we did for about 5 minutes and then she got pissy with me because "[I was] the one that wanted to [speak spanish] and I wasn't even listening to what people were saying" even though I was.
Zingales- French 1. She was a pretty good French teacher. She worked us pretty hard and always said whatever she wanted to say in French before she would say it in English the second time. I think that she taught French 1 really well, and it's not her fault that after this I went to Kent state and leanred Arabic and pretty much lost all of my French skills.
Horvath- French 2H. We rarely speak French in this class. The teacher can plan the hell out of a class though, we're always moving quickly between activities. It's just painful to spend so much time learning how to read and write French (though let's be honest- I suck at both) and honestly not having any ability. She has never set aside time to just spend using the language, which is so frustrating.
Mikati- Arabic 1 and 2 at Kent. Definitely the most brilliant foreign language teacher I'll ever encounter. We speak Arabic and only Arabic in that class, and I feel like I speak as much as I should be able to at this point in my language learning. If I had any complaints about her teaching methods, I would tell you, but honestly I don't. Ustedha Fetna is the bomb.
I was just going to list a few teaching qualities for each teacher and then go back and write a full essay-type post about teaching methods that work, but I decided to just go hard with the individual. I think that the idea that about half my teachers forget is that in the long run, the objective of the class would be to be able to go to a foreign country and speak the language comfortably. The teachers who incorporate regular speaking into their curriculum always make me feel better about the language. The French accent is hard enough when you get to listen to it every day, but without anyone speaking French at me, I sound, well, American when I speak French.
Conclusion statement? I plan on being a foreign language teacher (either Spanish or Arabic, not sure which yet) and I can't wait to teach teenagers the way I know it should be done.
*yeah I know. I've already written a post about foreign language, but is one really enough? But actually, truth be told, the first post was fairly awful.
**I bolded the teachers I currently have