KnightLife: On the Other Side of the Desk

This summer, I had the image6privilege of trading places with my students for a month. Well, not literally. Between DWS awarding me a professional development grant and winning a scholarship through the National Spanish Exam, I was able to reinvigorate my passion for learning by studying in San Jose at the University of Costa Rica.

My experience was AMAZING: hiking to waterfalls, relaxing on beautiful beaches, and seeing wildlife in its element. On the weekends, that is. On weekdays, I spent five hours a day in the classroom studying Spanish linguistics, phonetics, and dialectology all while immersed in a new culture. To say the experience was overwhelming would be an understatement.

Reverting to student life made me think about my students and begin to see construction of class image4[1]time in new ways. As I began to take on this new perspective, I realized just how amazing (and harried) our students are. Some tackle seven academic classes during the school day, participate in sports and extra-curricular activities, then  go home and study more! My learning experience WAS a learning experience. I realized my trip was about more than just Latino studies. It was about rejuvenating myself as a teacher, putting myself in the shoes of my students, and gaining even more appreciation for the opportunity to work in a student-centered school.

Jessica Marshall, Spanish Teacher

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