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Or Things I tell my Students and fellow Teachers.

Go with the Force, Luke

This Star Wars advice is true.  Often students instinctively chose the correct phrase or word, but then overanalyze and select something inaccurate. Trust yourself.

Your Spanish improves after 1 beer.

You probably speak Spanish better than you believe.  Don't worry about saying something "wrong" (e.g. not perfectly following some prescribed rubric.) That inhibits you from trying at all. Worry about perfection on a test. It's important to have a classroom that functions at a one-beer social level.

College is all about choices.

I don't give grades: students earn them.  I set the objectives for the course, and make the requirements for each grade level clear (e.g. no extra credit work, no late work is accepted, posting all activities and homework in class and on the website, etc.)  Students determine for themselves what grade they want to earn.  I just keep track. 

If you build it, it will come.

Field of Dreams is a true story. I have yet to see a student fail who has put serious effort into the homework, reading assignments and class activities.  If you want to do well, you will.

It is worth only 1 point.

Remember to examine the value of each question on an exam.  Don't sweat over a single question worth one point: circle it and move on.  If you have time at the end of the test, go back and guess.  A wrong guess counts the same as a blank, and it might be a good guess!

Impress me!

Well, you don't Have To write it out completely/do the additional research/color-code the information/include drawings and photos, etc. - but I will be Impressed! 

¡Qué chévere!

How artistic your work is!  How neat your handwriting is!  Your examples crack me up!  Your pronunciation is excellent!  Your attempt to deceive me with this poorly prepared report is creative, but no cigarro!

This is the Deal...

I promise to present Spanish in context, keep it personalized, give you hands-on activities, let you practice with partners and groups without fear.  Your promise is to do the homework, read the grammar explanations and be ready for class so that you can enjoy yourself while using your new language.


There is never only one way to say something.  Besides, when in doubt, sketch.