Spanish teacher Stewart makes good first impression

The Spanish department experienced some changes last summer, leading to Alexandra Stewart being hired to teach Spanish 3, 4, and AP Spanish.

“Everyone [at West Shore] has been very welcoming and helpful,” she said. “The students have been very willing to roll with a new teacher’s expectations, and I’ve enjoyed teaching them greatly.”

Stewart said she has changed to her teaching methods due to Covid restrictions.

“Due to COVID restrictions I can’t do the type of hands-on activities and group work I’m used to doing in all my classes,” she said. “So I’ve adjusted as much as possible to online assignments that mimic the collaborative environment I normally have in my classroom – normally I have a much more balanced tech to a hands-on approach. I’ve also been a bit more lenient with deadlines. I’ve [also] relied more on projects and speaking in class and on assignments to curb outside help in students’ learning of Spanish.”

As someone who is comfortable with technology, Stewart tries to incorporate it as much as possible.

“While 10-year-old Chromebooks aren’t ideal, they do work well for the students who don’t have their own technology. We use headphones with microphones in class to do our speaking activities,” she said. “I use FlipGrid for weekly practice, and I try to house all my work in our Google Classroom. The use of Google websites for each student is probably the one thing students hadn’t done before, but it is very intuitive. Giving my students samples and rubrics for all these things also help.”

Stewart said her students have been fabulous.

“I heard there was a bit of a hazing tradition between new teachers and students,” she said. “But I think since I try really hard to have reasonable deadlines, a straightforward setup to my weeks, and very standards-based instruction, it has minimized the traditional hazing process.”

By Jason Dela Cruz