I have tried repeatedly in my life to learn Spanish, starting in middle school, and then with a couple of years in high school, a year in college, and then some informal classes after college. It wasn’t until I met Camila 25 years later that I finally got to where I could speak Spanish! She has two things going for her that other teachers don’t seem to have. First, she has created a curriculum that uses exercises where we get to ask and answer questions that are real. These are set up so we can practice using pronouns, direct objects, and indirect objects, but through them, we learn vocabulary too. It was hard at first, but now I can put “lo” and “se” and “nos” in sentences without much struggle. It is surprising how important these little words are!
The second gift she brings to the classroom is that she creates bonds between herself and the students, and among the students. By weaving us together with stories from our lives, we grew to care about each other, and that makes going to class a bit like getting together with old friends. We help keep each other motivated. To be a part of Camila’s class is to be a part of Camila’s extended family, and that is a treat.