When I began teaching Latinos Spanish I realized that my job consisted of more than just teaching. I began to realize that my high school students needed more than to maintain their Spanish;they needed to be pushed and motivated to think about life after high school. In order to do this I created a unit that focused just on Latinos and education. The following were our unit "metas":
(1) Investigar sobre personas latinas que han sobresalido en los Estados Unidos
(2) Investigar opciones laborales y académicas después de la preparatoria
(3) Hacer una aplicación para la universidad
(4) Entender lo que es FAFSA
(6) Escribir un personal statement
(7)Crear un resumé y carta de presentación
(7) Practicar una entrevista laboral
I began by providing my students with statistics on Latinos in higher education. I wanted my students to realize that Latinos are underrepresented in the professional world. After analyzing statistics, students were asked to write about their plans after high school. Some said they weren't going to write because they didn't want to go to college. My response to this was that it was fine if they didn't want to go to college but they still had to have a plan. Their future couldn't consist of working at McDonald's or Burger King ; I wanted something concrete.
The next step was to write a personal statement, a resume and a cover letter. We also practiced and prepared for mock interviews. All of this was done in our Spanish r classroom. Sure, students probably would never have to apply to a Latin American university or have a job interview in Spanish, but they got the experience and could easily transfer their acquired skills to English. I think one of the most empowering assessments of this unit were the mock interviews. For this component of the unit, professionals from the community came and interviewed our students in Spanish. Near the end of the unit we took a field trip to the University of Illinois at Chicago where students got a tour of the campus, went into dorms and got to learn about LARES a Latino organization that focuses on Latino student retention. Overall, this is one of my favorite units to teach! If we don't empower them to become their best versions of themselves, who will?
Below I will share some of the resources I utilized in this empowering unit. Feel free to comment or message me for more resources.
Materials I utilized in my classroom:
FAFSA form in Spanish: studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/2017-18-fafsa-spanish.pdf
FAFSA information in Spanish: https://ifap.ed.gov/fafsa/attachments/0607FAFSAInsert(sp)100605.pdf
University cost research database: collegescorecard.ed.gov/
Tuition Net Price Calculator: financialaid.uic.edu/npcalc.shtml
The Common Application: www.commonapp.org/
Video: Personal Statement :www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWxFVtSUAsQ
Graduate: Una ayuda financiera para el exito: sites.ed.gov/hispanic-initiative/files/2014/04/Spanish.pdf
Después de la escuela secundaria… ¿Y ahora qué?: www.palmbeachschools.org/spanish/wp-content/uploads/sites/113/2016/04/after_high_school_booklet_12-2011_SPANISH.pdf
The questions in the title of this blog always run through my head as the beginning of each school year approaches. Many of us try to guess what topics, readings and or activities would attract our students. But why don’t we stop guessing and start asking? What has worked for me in the past is creating a survey and giving it to my students at the beginning and at the end of each school year. Like this, I find out what their interests are and I try to incorporate them into their curriculum.
The first year I gave my students a survey it was by projecting 4-5 questions on a power point slide, but now with google sheets, everything is much easier! You can give your students the survey and within seconds you will have your results! This is a powerful tool to use in your classroom if you want to really incorporate your students’ interests when creating materials for the classroom. Here is a link to a survey I created to use for these purposes:
Heritage Spanish Survey
Feel free to use it :) Also, here are some of the topics my students suggested should be included in a heritage Spanish curriculum:
Hasta la vista,