I’m glad to say I have been fortunate enough to do my student teaching placement here in Denver, Colorado, through the Denver Public Schools and Wartburg West. I recently completed my high school placement at East High School, and am now working with an outstanding teacher at Skinner Middle School.
This program offers an excellent opportunity for students to do their student teaching placements within a renowned school district putting them in position to become outstanding educators in an urban environment. I feel an experience like this would not have been possible in Iowa for me personally, mainly because of the teaching method used here for foreign languages and additionally with the large student populations. Within my placements I have learned how to effectively teach high school and middle school students in Spanish. I love that with the methods they use here in Denver, students are given the skills they need to be able to use their second language in real time. The system we use is called CI or Comprehensible Input, and is backed by the research of Dr. Stephen Krashen. The main principle of this system is learning a language as a child would learn his or her first language, utilizing a multitude of gestures, pictures and a lot of repetition. As said before, with this system students can finally use their skills to actually use the language and communicate with others versus learning about only grammar and the linguistics of a language. It’s truly amazing to see the results that these students get with only a few weeks of teaching them using simple principles that actually work.
Overall, I’m glad to have been able to do my student teaching placement in a district that truly values students being able to learn skills that they can use for the rest of their lives. I would not trade this experience for anything, and I am enjoying my time here in Colorado!