Margie just joined our group and we thank her for her bio:
Hi! My name is Margie Snyder and I teach Spanish at a middle school in West Virginia. I taught middle school science for 8 years before taking 5 years off when my youngest daughter was born. When I returned to teaching, I was ecstatic to get a high school Spanish job. I used the vocabulary lists and conjugation charts – just like my teacher did in high school. Guess what? My students couldn’t say a word in Spanish and I was devastated. At the end of the school year, the administration asked me to teach both science and Spanish classes the next year. Due to rheumatoid arthritis, I felt my schedule would be too grueling. So, I took a job teaching middle school Spanish with a virtual school. I was miserable! I immediately started researching other methods and found Blaine Ray. At the end of the first year I attended the NTPRS conference in Chicago. I was sold on comprehensible input but was so upset to not be able to use it with my virtual school job (I didn’t get to make my own lesson plans and had to follow the set curriculum). Desperate to get out, I started a doctoral program in curriculum and instruction. Thankfully, I lucked into a face-to-face teaching position at my current school. This is my second year and I feel like I’m in heaven. Our school has an enrollment of 300 students in grades 6, 7, and 8. I have 6th graders for 6-9 weeks and have 7th and 8th graders every day for 2 years. My largest class this year is 16.
I jumped into the job last year using TPRS. I am not great at it and some days I’m not good at all. But, I see a HUGE difference in what my students can do as compared to that year with the textbook. My county asked me to lead a PLC with the other middle school teachers and I have been talking up TPRS and comprehensible input. I don’t know of anyone else in my surrounding area (I’m located between Charleston and Huntington) that uses TPRS. I rely on MoreTPRS and this PLC that Ben keeps for us as my lifelines. Besides the doc classes, I am pursuing National Board certification this year. Some days, I am just treading water but I LOVE coming to work every day because I know I am helping my students acquire Spanish.