Degrees and Certifications:
Gruess Gott! Willkommen. I'm excited to be the German teacher at Willis High School this year! My first experience with German was when I accompanied my husband on his overseas tour while in the United States Army. The only German phrase I knew at the time was "Wo bist der Bahnhof?" which I thought meant, "Where's the bathroom." I signed up, that day (Friday) for a German 101 course through the University of Maryland that started the next Monday. Turns out, I was grateful that I never uttered that question, because it is a very poor way of asking "Where's the train station."
With continuing education and not being afraid to take risks (at first, speaking out loud in a new language feels like a continual risk!), I was able to graduate from Angelo State University, magna cum laude, with a major in German.
During our second tour of Germany we lived in a small town surrounded by fantastic and welcoming Germans. They were a constant source of inspiration to me to keep learning. Courses in German are offered to foreigners by local teachers and I took several of these types of classes to improve my language skills. When I first arrived, natives knew by my speech patterns that I was an American. After those three years of living in the community and studying German, native speakers could not tell whether I was American, English, or Australian! Believe it or not, that is a huge compliment.
Learning a language is not like riding a bike. It is more like learning the more complicated aspects of math. Everything you learn initially has to be remembered in order to add it to what you are going to learn later. If you don't pay attention to the beginning vocabulary you will not be able to use that vocabulary to learn grammar patterns and how to put sentences together in order to communicate your needs and thoughts. The whole purpose of learning a language is to communicate!
There will not be a lot of homework (Hausaufgabe) in this class, unless you have missed doing the work in class for one reason or another. That being said, you will have to study for quizzes/tests, work on projects, and spend at least 20 minutes every evening practicing your vocabulary.
Los Geht's! Let's go!
Our classroom rules are quite simple:
Can you say/do it in front of your parent?
Can you say/do it in front of your clergy (priest, preacher, etc.)?
Can you say/do it in front of Mrs. Hodgins?
If we can answer yes to all three of these, we can do that action or say that idea in our classroom.
Saturday, February 2nd will find the German language contest called Houstonfest taking place at Heights High School in Houston. Our school's German students have made our presence known for several years. It is a fun day full of language usage, friend and memory making, and cultural entertainment. Students begin to prepare for the competition early on in the school year.
All students are required to do a project, whether they enter that project into the competition or not. This project will be a major grade. I will hand out a detailed rubric for project submissions before the Christmas holiday.
Founded in 1980, Houstonfest is an annual competition for Houston-area students in grades 8 through 12 who are learning German. It offers 42 contests for students in German I, II, III, IV, and V, including written and oral tests, declamation, drama, art, and music. Go to www.houstonfest.org for all the information you need.
Our first fundraisers will occur in November. One will be our Cafeteria Movie after school and the second is the Yankee Candle sales. We will have a German club meeting at the beginning of the year to make plans. Watch for announcements.
In the Spring we will have another Cafeteria Movie and the Deanan popcorn sales. This year, the popcorn sales will have to take place before or after school. We cannot sell popcorn during the school day.