La Maestra Bilingue

This is an interesting article.  I do wish parents thought about some of these things.

What teachers really want to tell parents – CNN.com.

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My class has got it bad! They are not wanting to work and are much happier staring out the window. Recess is the highlight of the day. The worse part is I’m just as antsy to get outside! The countdown for the end of the year has begun. I’m ready to start my new venture. My app is almost ready to be sent to iTunes. I can’t wait to have some time to dedicate to my new projects! This spring fever is definitely contagious….watch out!

In February, I made a couple of decisions that are quite life-changing.  First, I decided to give my resignation to my full-time teaching position.  This is a big decision considering the economy right now, but thankfully our primary business is supporting us financially so I can take this leap of faith.  I love teaching and I love being thin the classroom, but I feel that it’s time to reach other teachers with what I have learned.  Part of this decision lead to this blog, my website (still under construction), and a bigger project…creating an app for the iPod/iPhone/iPad.

I teach 2nd grade bilingual students.  Last year, one of my coworkers and I were presented a grant that allowed us to purchase several iPods for our classroom.  These little devices have been a great learning tool.  After attending the TCEA (Texas Computer Education Association) convention in February, I caught a small glimpse of the possibilities for this technology in the classroom.  As a bilingual teacher, I saw all the great things available in English and the huge lack of things in Spanish.   I decided that it was time to do something about that.

I did hours of Internet research and decided to give app development a shot.  It seems that the best way (considering I have no idea about the programming) was to outsource the programming work.  I found a wonderful programmer that has had infinite patience with this newbie and is quick to turn my ideas into a jumble of source code.  Late last week, I found a beautiful little beta version of my app in my inbox.

I’m not going to get into the details, and I’m not going to advertise my app (especially since I have the only working copy at this moment)…yet!  I will give more details including where to get my app (iTunes baby!) in the near future.  Right now, I just want to share my excitement!  A couple of weeks ago I had an idea….I set out to work and today during learning center time, I watched several of my students playing with MY app!  They were clapping when they passed a level, and threatening the iPad when they didn’t quite make it…it was priceless!

I don’t know if my app will be a huge best-seller (I can always hope, right?), but I know that my kids had fun playing it today.  They were having so much fun that they didn’t even realize that they were learning!

Today the committee that funded our grant for Ipod in our class came to visit. I enjoyed sharing the wonderful thing my students have been able to do with the iPods However, when discussing with my friend who wrote the grant with me, I realize that I am utilizing the iPods much more than she is. Why? I’m more technologically inclined and less afraid to try new things with the tools given to me. Some teachers have wonderful technology available to them, but they don’t have the time or desire to figure out how to implement them in their class. I wish I could transport myself into all those classrooms to help those teachers! I hope that through this blog and my website, I can develop some articles that will in a way bring a bit of what I have learned into the classroom. In the long run, the students are the ones who benefit and isn’t that what we all are shooting for?

This has been a great weekend! I enjoyed some quality time with my husband. We got several things around the house accomplished that have needed to be done for awhile and I found some friends that I had lost contact with on Facebook. It was great to get messages throughout the day from our friends that we had lost contact with. I need a bit more time before I go back to school in the morning. I’m a bit sore from taking a tumble on the wet tile on Saturday…I hope I can move a little better in the morning!

I just read about the Daily Post.  This sounds like a great idea.  Sometimes I just need some fresh new inspiration.

My thoughts are what keep me up at night.  I’m usually thinking of things I need to do in my classroom.  I’m sometimes thinking of how to present a certain concept to the kid who just couldn’t “get it”.  I think of ways to switch up my learning centers to keep the kiddos interested, and guided reading lessons that keep them excited for their “teacher” rotation to come around.  Sometimes I’m thinking of things I would like to write.  Recently, I’ve been thinking about things that I need to do to get my horse business and my educational website off the ground.  I’ve also got two educational apps in production, so I often think about that.  I wish my brain had an “off” button.  My husband and son make me absolutely sick!  They seem to fall asleep and start snoring just as soon as their heads hit the pillow.  I toss and turn and toss and turn before I have to get up to the bathroom and back to bed to toss and turn some more.  No wonder I’m still sleepy in the morning!

Here goes the beginning of (hopefully) a beautiful friendship!  In the last few weeks I have reached the decision that I am going to leave my classroom.  I love teaching.  I love my students.  I love my administration.  I love my school.  So, why am I leaving?  First, I feel like a new chapter is opening in my life.  After much prayer and contemplation, I feel that this is what I’m supposed to do.  Second, I can financially afford to.  With all the worries about possible Reductions in Force and possible teacher layoffs, I can’t help but think of my colleagues who depend on their meager teacher’s salary to make ends meet.  Thankfully, the other business my husband and I started is booming and he supports me completely.

That brings up the question of what am I going to do?  My quick answer is for awhile NOTHING!  I am going to sleep in, read, relax, watch some movies, and do basically nothing for at least a few weeks.  After that gets old, I’m going to help my husband more with our business, work on getting our horse business off and running, and volunteer at my school.  However, a new light bulb has started shining…..

During our team meeting today, the second grade teachers were working on lesson plans for next week.  Nothing special, happens every week.  The monolingual teachers were running back and forth to their classrooms to get other materials that they thought of as we were planning.  Us bilingual teachers didn’t really have anything to get.  This has been my frustration (as I’m sure it is for many others) since I began teaching bilingual education.  There are many wonderful resources for the classroom available for English speakers, but bilingual teachers have to pull from a small reservoir of materials or translate.  I love technology, I love teaching, why don’t I start creating some high-quality resources for bilingual teachers?!

I have been toying around with this idea for quite some time.  But life seems to keep me too busy to do much about it.  In the last few weeks, I have been making strides to put this dream in motion.  In fact, I have two apps for the iPod/iPad in production right now. Without giving too much away, they will be helpful tools for both bilingual and monolingual teachers.  I have lots of ideas of things that I want to create.  Resources that I would like for my own classroom, but never have the time to make.  Hopefully, now that I have decided to take this step of faith, I will have the time to pull some of these resources together for my fellow bilingual teachers.

Thank you for being here on this first entry….I hope that soon I will have many things to share.

¡Hasta Pronto!

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