Hello! I’m Martina, and this is my blog.
My first two years of teaching were at Syracuse University while I completed my Masters in Spanish Language, Literature, and Culture. Teaching everything from Spanish 101 to 400-level conversation courses, my classes were filled with (mostly) highly motivated students who spent many hours on their Spanish homework and studying for exams each week. In October 2008, my husband and I moved from New York to Alaska with the Air Force (he has since separated from the military and is now a Realtor). I began teaching full time in August 2009 at Clark Middle School in the Anchorage School District using primarily Cooperative Learning methods. In April 2010, I observed one of Michele Whaley’s Russian classes at West High School as part of ASD’s new teacher mentorship program. After a weekend holed up with NTPRS DVDs trying to make sense of what I had just witnessed, I began using TPRS/CI exclusively when I returned to class on Monday.
The School to Home Transition
After the birth of my second son in May 2013, I resigned from my position to be a full-time mom to my children. I now have four kiddos born in a four year span–yikes! Staying home with my kids has been my prayer and the desire of my heart since before they were born, and I am grateful every day that God has provided for my family and allowed me to do just that. In the Bible, He promised that He would grant us the desires of our hearts. It took some waiting, but mine was granted! Now that I am a full-time mom and a part-time curriculum developer and consultant, my prayer is that I can encourage and support other teachers to connect with their students and find joy in this most noble of professions. I now have five kids (born in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017), and the continued connection to language teaching afforded to me through this blog is one of the great blessings of my life!!
I am so thankful to everyone that has posted activities, story scripts, and assessments that they use in their CI classrooms. It is overwhelming to scrap almost everything that you used to do and start fresh, and finding random pre-made activities online has been my saving grace. I began “Lesson Plans for TPRS/CI Classrooms” in 2011 as a way to give back to the TPRS online community that had been (and continues to be) crucial to my success and growth as a language teacher. My hope is that beginning TPRSers will find this blog and my website useful, and that they will make your lives just a little bit easier. If you use any of my resources, PLEASE return the favor and send me something wonderful that you have used in the past, as well!! In the email, let me know if it is something that you would like me to share on the blog with other readers (credited to you, of course). I welcome constructive criticism and questioning of anything that I post. If our work is never questioned, we lose the valuable opportunity for professional growth that comes with critical reflection of our practice.