Hi! My name is Erin Coleman and I am the teacher-author behind The Engaged Spanish Classroom.
I am a social worker turned high school Spanish teacher and cross country / hockey coach! I am in my 9th year teaching Spanish grades 9-12.
I absolutely love my job, my students, and my coworkers. I have a very hard time getting up at 5:15 each morning, and during those few minutes I don’t enjoy my job… however as soon as I am at school I am happy to be there. I never have to hope for the day to go by faster, as each class flies by. (One of my secrets is that I always try to over-prepare, so that there are never dull moments in class.)
In my teaching practice, I focus on building positive relationships with my students before anything else.
I try to be honest with myself; Spanish is not going to be every student’s favorite or priority subject. Some students will absolutely love my class and be self-motivated, while others are simply taking it for credit. And that’s ok! It doesn’t change my role.
What it does mean is that I need to understand my student’s needs. I need to understand that their enthusiasm toward the language may not match mine and that’s OK. Of course I liked Spanish in high school — obviously, I became a Spanish teacher — but I need to recognize that some students are in my class simply to pass. I need to get to know my students, and adapt to their needs. There is no “wrong reason” for sitting in my classroom, and I will work with them toward their goals even if they differ from my own.
If I build a relationship with each student at the start of the year, then hopefully I can make the class a little more bearable for them. Maybe enjoyable, even 🙂
My goal for this page is to share more about the “how” and “why” behind my teaching. I love sharing strategies for engaging your students, but I also hope to share strategies that will help you save time and enjoy your job each day. Teaching is hard enough as it is; I hope to give you some strategies to make it easier.
I also want to remind you to embrace and enhance your self-care. I will remind you to treat yourself with grace, to be patient with yourself, and to give to yourself. I hope you will find some solace here, as well as the reassurance that you are enough. You are good enough, you are working hard enough, and your students are learning enough.
You are enough for your students. I promise! And I am so glad you are here.