Monday, November 20, 2017

Note to self: Remember to try things you're bad at

I've been teaching high school Spanish for about three months now, and as part of my responsibilities, I'm the Spanish club sponsor.  In October, we went to see the Hispanic Flamenco Ballet perform, and learned about Flamenco Omaha, a dance studio that offers flamenco lessons.  Students were interested in learning to dance the flamenco, so we've been having lessons for the past three weeks.

(Not very big) secret:  I am terrible at the flamenco (or anything that involves any kind of physical coordination, really).  I can manage OK as long as we're repeating the same step, but if any kind of transitions are involved (or I'm supposed to be moving my hands and feet at the same time), I need to practice over.and over.and over.  I still don't look graceful or elegant after practicing so many times, but I'm at least following the basic steps (but missing lots of details like hand movements).

It has been fun and good exercise, but it's also been a good reminder for me as a teacher.  Picking up language features has always been very easy for me.  But for some of my students, learning Spanish is like learning the flamenco is to me: we need to repeat, and repeat, and repeat, and break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces to be able to do something remotely resembling the model.  And then repeat 8 million more times and then we'll have it down.  :D

Having some success with hand movements because I didn't have to move my feet at the same time.
Assisted by my 3-year-old.

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