We will never be the same educators (hopefully)

By Diego Ojeda
www.srojeda.com
@DiegoOjeda66

Although it has not been easy for anyone to endure the months under COVID-19, it’s been especially difficult for all those involved in education. Students, teachers, and administrators have found themselves facing an unknown, unexpected, and uncertain reality.

As we try to close the school year in the best possible way, we begin to think about the challenges and uncertainties that lie ahead as we think of returning to school this fall, and about how we build up from this experience of almost three months of distance education.  We find hypothetical solutions that allow us to have peace of mind during the summer feeling that we are prepared to assume a hybrid virtual and in-person teaching experience.

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Online learning: The new normal

By Diego Ojeda
www.srojeda.com
@DiegoOjeda66

Just a little over a week ago I was saying goodbye to my students without knowing when I would see them again. This was a rather strange, and above all, sad experience, as I described it in a blog post.

By now I have already met a couple of times online with each one of my classes and to be honest, it has been one of the longest weeks of my life. In addition to the idea of having to be confined at home, the pressure of preparing classes in a format that we are not used to can be a very big challenge.

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Holiday activities for your world language classroom

By Diego Ojeda
www.srojeda.com
@DiegoOjeda66

Christmas and the end of the year are two important events for most of the Western world, but of course there are differences in how they are celebrated in different countries and cultures. I am originally from Colombia and I came to the United States 20 years ago and I still remember my first Christmas in this country as if it were last year.

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Day of the dead; day of the living

By Diego Ojeda
www.srojeda.com
@diegoojeda66

Celebrations such as the Day of the Dead allow us, Spanish teachers, to reflect on the purpose of our classes. Do we teach Spanish so that our students learn to decode the language? Or is it also our responsibility to teach about culture? A language is not only its syntax, but also its semantics, and it is semantics combined with cultural expressions that allows us to find the ultimate meaning of each interaction.

The Day of the Dead is one of those celebrations that can cause problems for more than one Spanish teacher. In Western European culture, death is a dreary, sad and sometimes even forbidden topic.

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Beyond the piñatas: An authentic celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month

By Diego Ojeda
www.srojeda.com
@diegoojeda66

It was my first year of teaching Spanish in the United States when just a few weeks after I started the school year one of my colleagues approached me and asked me about my plans to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. I confess that I was a bit perplexed because I had never heard about this celebration. For a moment I thought she was referring to Día de la Raza, a celebration of Latin American countries where we honor our roots and our identity.  But I soon realized that we were in September and that Día de la Raza is celebrated on October 12, the same date of the federal holiday that celebrates the life of the man who left so much poverty and sadness after the “discovery” of America.

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