Wednesday, December 2, 2009


DEC022009, originally uploaded by colemama.

Though my tendencies lean toward organization and planning, I value the spontaneity and impulsiveness of some classroom experiences, especially when they lead to 'teachable moments.'

Today, I was presenting some website and research resources to the Spanish for Spanish Speakers II class for their upcoming project on Spanish speaking countries. When reviewing the Culture Grams online subscription site, I asked for someone to give me an example of their assigned country and a student mentioned "Cuba." On the search results, there was a musical note which someone inquired about and it linked to an audio file of the Cuban national anthem. As soon as it started playing three students of Cuban heritage jumped to attention with their right arms in salute and started singing! I couldn't get my camera fast enough...had to ask for an encore to capture the video version! How cool....and their classmates, most from other Spanish-speaking countries, were very respectful.

The rest of the story is also cool....Since the Media Center is currently located in a classroom of the Health Science wing until renovations for the new space are completed, the students' lyrical voices carried out into the hallway. One of our adult Practical Nursing (our campus is both a technical high school and an adult postsecondary technical center) students (also from Cuba) was drawn to the door's window and beckoned me out to the hallway - she was so touched! When I shared that with the class, they wanted to meet her. Then and there an authentic interview took place - she has only been in the US for 3 years and she went to Russia to learn English and was then able to come to the US, which apparently was typical years ago. So much to learn outside the normal curriculum - too bad more of our classroom time isn't actually based on 'teachable moments' with authentic experiences....Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL

1 comment:

  1. What a great story. Hope one day your country opens up trade and communications with Cuba. Canadians have open access and I had the opportunity to visit. What little I saw was beautiful!