Sra. Shumpert: "Why do you think I painted my face, and prepared this display for you today?"
Student: "Because you're a Spanish teacher and Day of the Dead is a Spanish holiday, so you have to teach us about it."
Sra. Shumpert: "Well actually, there is a bigger purpose behind it. When you don't know about something or understand it, sometimes you become a judge and start to judge it. But I want you to open your minds to what other people do, and even if you don't understand it or do it yourself, you can respect it."
Later in the lesson Sra. Shumpert went on to say, "How can you say you won't like something if you've never even tasted it? In the same way, how do you know you won't be friends with that person over there just because of the way he or she looks?"
These are the questions that we must ask ourselves and our students on a regular basis if we want our teaching to be truly transformational. Teaching a student how to speak Spanish is certainly an important and valuable skill, but encouraging a student to have an open heart and mind...what could possibly matter more?
Today I want to thank Sra. Shumpert, and all of you who share from your hearts every day with your students. I had the joy of observing a class in which Sra. Shumpert shared from her heart about her own ancestors who have passed away and why she celebrates their lives on November 2nd. She explained to students that because she is not Mexican, she does not celebrate Día de los Muertos in the same way that many Mexican families do. Instead she does have a practice from her Puerto Rican heritage in which she lights a candle in remembrance.
Guest Blogger: Jessica Oberly, PM
Last week Ms Jacome and myself taught our students about the practices of Día de los Muertos. We discussed the the signficance, altars, typical food, and the atmosphere of the celebration. Then we gave our students 3 days in class to participate in a Day of the Dead art contest.
Ms Jacome's Spanish 1 student created calaveras or sugar skulls.
All of the Novice A and B classes created Catrina or Catrin skeletons.
My Spanish 2 class and I discussed Diego Rivera's mural "A dream of a Sunday afternoon in Alameda park". The students then created their interpretation of the mural.
Winners are featured below.
World Language Teacher Support Specialist (and Language Enthusiast)