Incorporating my interests and hobbies into my lessons is so easy, and really downright necessary, as a foreign language teacher. We “chat” all of the time in Spanish about what we like, what we don’t like, what we prefer, how we spend our time, what our family is like, so on and so forth. Students love to hear what is similar and dissimilar about my life and theirs. They are always surprised to hear what my favorite bands are (Vampire Weekend, Wilco, DMB, Coldplay, and of course, Nelly-ha!). Then when they find out that my husband is a musician and an award-winning composer for film and television…well, of course that puts me WAY up there on the cool charts. And then comes the realization (on the students’ part) that they have just had a twenty-minute-long class discussion all in Spanish that they understood 100%. It blows their minds.

I love to point it out, too, how I play these little mind games with them. How I can take something that interests them, get them to talk about it in Spanish using words that they either completely comprehend or can easily infer the meaning of… and they’ll shake their fingers at me and say, “Oh, sneaky Mrs. Cochran! She did it again!”

Seriously, how much fun is this job?!