Just a quick progress report on the "Spanglish" course. Classes began last week and seem to be off to a strong start. We had about sixteen parents for the first class, and it's grown steadily since. There's a good mix of English and Spanish language learners, allowing us to learn from each other. The nicest feedback has come through a few comments from students about how much they enjoy the interaction with each other. It made my heart happy to notice a group of women from both language communities hang out for another fifteen minutes after class today to practice and chat.
I'm grateful for these motivational moments since the transition to "teacher mode" is requiring some adjustment. I've discovered that switching back and forth between both languages as I teach is mentally exhausting. I finish each class feeling like I've just endured an entire hour of linguistic acrobatics. Lesson planning is also taking a lot of time since I'm essentially creating all of my materials from scratch. Everything has to be tailored for this unique teaching situation and translated into both languages. While I'm generally able to construct grammatically-correct sentences in Spanish, there are so many times when I wish I had a native speaker's intuition about how to phrase something. Still, the language practice is helping me improve along with everyone else. It feels good to be engaged and utilizing my degree, even if I am working for free. Mostly, it is rewarding to see the community come together, albeit in a small way.
As for the kids, they've noticed a difference too. As I walked out the door to class, Talia said: "Mom, why are you wearing earrings? It's not even Sunday."
Hopefully a dolled-up Mom can make up for the messy house.