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A Reminder, an Invitation and a Permission Slip

Reading time <3 min

It’s that time of year once again: a total freak-out for teachers.

Though there is no actual Paul Revere-like character riding through town to make the announcement, the refrain rings in educators’ ears:

“The students are coming! The students are coming!”

Yes, yes they are; just like they have been since…well, since whenever the modern education system came into being.

What also seems to arrive at this time of year is panic and overwhelm for teachers for a whole host of reasons (feel free to insert yours here). But, for language teachers, those feelings seem even more heightened (again, for a whole host of reasons). Seemingly, we have more classes to prepare for, plus the added expectation (self-imposed or otherwise) that our classes will maintain the interest and engage our students. Never mind the feelings of imposter syndrome or the actual bullying, both overt and covert, that takes place in education, world language teachers have a lot to manage.

And the students haven’t even crossed the threshold of the front doors to the school yet.

What’s a teacher to do?

First of all, know that these feelings are fairly universal. (I think this will be my 30th year teaching and I STILL feel this way!) Second, please remember that you, as the teacher, while you may not know it all (who does?), you do know more than your students. Okay, breathe.

Now, for the invitation part of this post: think about WHY you chose teaching as a profession. Blocking out all of the other malarkey that’s swirling in your head, go back to that (or at least the “that” that you have now). When I was first teaching, I loved the grammar aspects of teaching Spanish. I delighted in the patterns and the rules and…well, all the stuff I don’t particularly care for now. Nope, now my WHY is to help my students think in a different way - be that about geography, doing hard things, learning about people; you know, the soft skills that are still necessary in the world, but no one talks about anymore because they can’t be quantified as readily.

Whatever floats your boat, rocks your world or blows your skirt up: do that. It will not reach EVERY student the way you want to (or the way admin thinks you need to, or the state ed department or the president or the supreme ruler of the galaxy or…), but you will reach the students who need that from you. Besides, if you love “it” (whatever that is), you can sell it. Enthusiasm is infectious!

If you’ve gotten this far, you’re probably figuring that there will be some permission granted. Yes, yes there will! The DigiGals grant you permission to work smarter (not harder), to do more with less (go deeper) and to enjoy. We write these novels so that you can do all of this. Let the novel work for you, so that the students end up doing more of the work (they should, THEY’RE the ones who haven’t graduated yet!). The DigiGals have a quarterly webinar series that you jump in on if you want some tricks and tips to help you make your job less daunting. Check out the button below.

But most of all, we hope that you will give yourself permission to ENJOY teaching, and further enjoy teaching languages. We really do have the best jobs.

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