My certificate is K-12 in both Iowa and Michigan, but when I went through my teacher prep classes the lower levels frightened me. I always saw myself as a high school Spanish teacher because I thought it was the best of both worlds: they’re old enough to get my jokes and yet still working on elementary-type skills like colors, numbers, storytelling, etc.
However, this year I was given a group of Spanish 1 students that are 8th graders and I’ve come to absolutely LOVE middle schoolers this year.
Here’s are two funny stories as to why:
1. I update a quizlet account of all the words we’ve “officially” learned in class. The username I make the cards under is “eldentlinger” which represents my name. While in the computer lab yesterday asked, “Why is it eldentlinger? You’re not a guy!”
For non-Spanish teachers, el is the masculine form of “the.” I chuckled, but it really shows these kids know their stuff and are in Spanish mode to catch something like that!
2. We were working with the song El Burrito de Belen. There were a few activities we did before listening to the song to help us understand it, and one of the words we needed to know was “burrito” as I don’t officially teach an animal unit. I told them “burro” was donkey, and asked them what it meant when we added “ito” onto the end of a word. My 8th graders put it together that it meant “little donkey,” but what made the moment hilarious was when Student A asked, “So that’s what the mystery meat in the school’s burrito is!”
A little bit too literal in his thinking, but I couldn’t help but pause class to laugh with them.