Monday, October 28, 2013


So I'm diving back into the blogverse. It seems I can't stay away for long, although my interests certainly have changed. (Check out my now defunct blog that reviewed Japanese Kit Kats - Jen Ken's Kit Kat Blog.) This time I'm focusing on teaching - specifically teaching world languages, teaching on the go and teaching the 'lil ones.

Who am I?

I wasn't trained as a teacher. In fact my bachelor's degree is in History. But after graduating I spent a year in France teaching English in two junior high schools. After a few years as a cubicle monkey at a Fortune 500 I escaped to Japan where I taught English for 3 years in 2 junior highs and 3 elementary schools as an ALT.  It was there playing janken with my elementary school students I realized I was kind of good at this teaching thing and I would be happy to do it for awhile longer (but closer to home.)  So I came home, got my alternate certification and was offered a job teaching elementary Spanish. (I should mention here that I've studied Spanish since I was in the 8th grade, minored in it in college and took an additional 15 hours of undergrad credit before I did my alternate certification program. I also speak a little French and Japanese.)

So that's my strange and wonderful journey that has led me here. I'm in my second year teaching here in the US and my 6th year overall.  Here in Kentucky, I have 680+ students in kindergarten to 5th grade. I see my students for 25 minutes twice every six days (not enough but I'm working on getting more time.)  I'm a lone ranger - my team members are the art, PE, music and science lab teachers. I'm also the third Spanish teacher in 4 years so even though there was Spanish being taught when I got there I'm the one responsible for building our program. I teach on my spiffy cart, Sra. Speedy. She and I roll around the school teaching up to 11 classes a day. Oh and I don't have a curriculum, so I have challenges, lots and lots of challenges.  All of which I will be documenting here as I work through them.



  1. Is that a guinea pig or a hamster? Whichever, cute, cute, cute. I'm going to enjoy ready this blog as much as Kit-Kats, Japanese style. Especially since it's going to be about kids!

  2. This drawing of you is so you! :)

  3. You are just like me! I teach Spanish to 24 classes for thirty minutes once a week (six classes per day). I have 625 students. I have a cart but nowhere to put it after school, so I often end up using only my backpack in order to keep my stuff safe. The Spanish teacher before me only taught at my school for one year and spoke mostly English, and the one before her mostly only taught history of Spanish-speaking countries (so I'm told). As a result, the kids don't have too much Spanish at all. They are all Novice-Low's, but I want so much to help bump up a couple levels. I use 100% Spanish in the classroom, so it's always an adventure to figure to communicate in the most effective way. I look forward to reading about your experiences and seeing how they apply to my teaching, too! :)

    1. Welcome Alison! We really are a lot alike! I'm the third Spanish teacher in four years at my school - apparently the first one liked to give map worksheets to kindergartners (WTF!) and the one after that struggled with classroom management partly because she was a little too dedicated to the 100% Spanish model. I'm all about 90-100% but only if it's comprehensible. So a lot of my students are also novice low as well. But we have a pretty awesome job don't we?