Last fall my school switched foreign language instruction from French to Spanish, so this is our first year of Spanish. Our head of school encouraged everyone in the school to try to learn some Spanish and use it in the classroom. I tried the program Duolingo over the summer, but found that most of what I learned wasn't helpful. Yo soy un penguino, for example. (I am a penguin.) But once school started, our afternoon custodian, Miguel, decided he was going to help me learn Spanish. He comes into my classroom around 4:30 to empty trash.
"Buenos tardes, maestra," he greets me.
"Buenos tardes, senor," I answer.
"Como esta?" he asks next.
"Muy buen. Como esta?"
After this, he sometimes talks about the cold weather ("frio") or how much work we both have ("mucho trabajo"). Then we say good-bye.
"Hasta manana. Hasta Lunes. Adios."
Miguel doesn't speak much English. We are limited in our conversations, but he easily communicates what a nice person he is, thoughtful, helpful, and funny.
Today he asked that I teach him English while he teaches me Spanish. A new adventure!