I've been in contact with a middle school teacher in Kentucky since last fall. Happily for me - and for her, as it turns out - she has been using La chica nueva in her classes, and just started using Los tres amigos. She told me of her challenges getting her students involved with classwork and with the language, so she's been grateful for some stories to generate interest.
Last week she emailed me the quickest note about the impressions some of her students had when they saw the cover of Los tres amigos. Trying to create conversation just by getting their thoughts on the cover art, one student said simply, "Oh, you had me at the rainbow."
Sometimes it doesn't take much more than that.
Earlier today the same teacher emailed me to tell me of a connection another student had made to the book. The student was asked to create her visual interpretation of the characters in the book. No, the student didn't follow the directive (photo above). However, the teacher wrote:
"Instead of just sitting around, she created this piece of art and wrote this quotation in Spanish.
I appreciate that she used the time productively. I am relieved though because even if she not been drawing, she would have been reading the novel. I'll take it."
I'll take it, too. I love hearing the anecdotes from teachers and their students - not just because they are reminders as to why I tell stories, but because of the connections; between the teachers/students and the books, and more importantly, between humans. Including me. Keep 'em coming!
And to the students in Kentucky: thank you! You guys rock! :-)