It's time to finally announce on here what I've been up to for the past few months. As many of you know, and probably many don't, I just started a new job as a Spanish teacher/Development Associate at Cornerstone Schools of Alabama. I wanted to let know know what I'm up to, and point you the blog where I'll be assuming my Spanish teacher identity. And stay tuned friends, because I'm also going to let you know what you can do to HELP!
First, a little bit about this wonderful little school.
Cornerstone (check out the website) is an excellent private, Christian school in an urban area of Birmingham called Woodlawn. When I say urban I don’t mean “of or relating to a city or town,” I mean urban. You know, that word we white folks use when we try to politely describe a place that is majority black, majority poor, higher than average rate of crime, drugs, dilapidated houses, lower than average rate of opportunity, optimism, justice. That kind of urban. Which happens to be a few blocks away from my quaint and cozy little carriage-house apartment. Literally, the other side of the tracks. Well, I’m hoping to cross the tracks.
I will be teaching Spanish to all of the close to 275 beautiful children who attend Cornerstone, 4-year-olds through 8th graders. The school has never had a language program, so I’ll be developing the curriculum from scratch. In my spare time (ha!) I'll also be helping out with the development side of things by working on grants, updating the website, and such.
I have never taught before. Though I lived in Spain for 9 months, I am no where close to native proficiency. Until about 3 months ago I knew little to nothing about methods and curriculum for teaching Spanish to elementary schoolers.
Needless to say, I am (slightly) overwhelmed.
But, what matters, is that I know this is where I am called to be. Throughout the whole process I kept asking God, “Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” “I really don’t have to do this if you don’t think I’ll be good at it.” “In fact, maybe I really shouldn’t be getting myself into this so, uh, you can stop this at any point, just shut that door in my face, I’ll be okay.” But he didn’t. The doors were actually pretty much flung wide open, and the peace of knowing that the Lord would not call me to anything that he would not equip me to was enough to nudge me right on through.
So that’s where I am. I'm at the school now working on development, developing my curriculum, setting up my classroom, etc. I’m learning, gleaning every little bit of information I can out of websites, online journals, established programs, teacher blogs, books, friends. And I’m praying, not just to survive as an inexperienced, first-year teacher, but that I would fall in love with each and every child who walks through the doors of my classroom; that the Spirit would produce his fruit in my interaction with each of them; that children would love to learn in my classroom and that they would leave it filled up with knowledge, discovery, confidence, and love.
I don't want to hit you with too much information all at once, but stay tuned for more details on my Spanish teacher blog, and for information about how you can HELP me stock my classroom!