Class participation 10%

  • Students must prepare thoroughly for class in order to engage in meaningful discussion.
  • The readings must be completed before class.

Notes from Readings 10%

  • Students must keep “take-away” notes from each reading. The idea is not to produce a comprehensive summary of the reading, rather to highlight the key points you found most directly relevant to your own teaching. Twice during the semester—early on and towards the end—each student will meet with me to review their notes. The rubric can be found here.

Weekly lesson plans, classroom instruction, and grade-level teamwork 20%

  • In grade-level teams, students will prepare weekly plans for the DES lesson to be submitted the week before the lesson is taught.
  • Students will teach weekly lessons, arriving promptly at DES.
  • See: expectations; template; checklist; Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Weekly reflection 15%

  • After each lesson at DES, students will write a 250-word blog post identifying areas of success or challenge. The purpose of this post is both to encourage the student to reflect, and to offer insight for fellow students. The reflection is graded on completion and depth of thought, not on whether the lesson was a complete success. Making mistakes and learning from them is a truly valuable experience, and reflection is a critical component in the development of a teacher.

Peer observations and Critiques (two) 15%

  • Students will visit two DES lessons taught by their peers and offer verbal and written critiques. Each student will also respond to the critiques that were made of them.
  • Observe and offer feedback
  • Be observed, receive feedback, and respond to feedback
  • See: Expectations for observations; Observation rubric

Final e-Portfolio 30%

The final e-portfolio will include the following items, which will be publicly shared unless otherwise noted:

  • Your biography (copied from the webpage)
  • A spreadsheet in Excel: This sheet will be a summary of all the semester’s lesson plans. It will inform the spring volunteers of your students’ work. The spreadsheet must include links to your lesson plans, videos, music, etc.
  • Two modified lesson plans: You will revisit two of your lessons and modify them based on how the lesson actually went and on the wisdom you gained over the course of the semester.
  • Two of your favorite activities: Include a description and instructions to be shared with future volunteers.
  • Peer observations: Brief narrative (350-400) on the value of observations. What did you learn through your observations as well as being observed?
  • Photographs/Videos: Images of you working with your students. This material may be shared, unless you specify otherwise.
  • Take-away notes from readings: In digital form (scanned, not necessarily typed)
  • List of cultural events attended and a one-paragraph reflection for each event (perhaps as links in a Widget)
  • Final Reflection paper: Reflect on what you’ve learned through your experience as a teacher and peer observer. Detailed instructions will be provided. Excerpts of this material may be shared anonymously. (10% of the e-Portfolio)

Grading Scale:

A       (4.0) = 100-94               C+        (2.33) = 79-78
A-     (3.67) = 93-90                C          (2.0) = 77-74
B+     (3.33) = 89-88               C-        (1.67) = 73-70
B       (3.0) = 87-83                  D+       (1.33) = 69-68
B-     (2.67) = 83-80                D         (1.0) = 67-65 (lowest passing grade)

Class Participation:

A+ (100-98)
A (97-94)
A- (93-90)
• Siempre llega a clase a tiempo y preparado/a.
• Participa de modo activo en todas las actividades.
• Se ofrece de voluntario/a con mucha frecuencia.
• Hace preguntas cuando hay dudas.
• Siempre habla en español.
B+ (89-88)
B (87-84)
B- (83-80)
• Siempre llega a clase a tiempo y preparado/a.
• Participa en todas las actividades, pero a veces de modo pasivo.
• Se ofrece de voluntario/a a veces.
• No hace tantas preguntas como debe.
• Siempre habla en español.
C+ (79-78)
C (77-74)
C- (73-70)
• A veces llega a clase tarde.
• A veces llega a clase sin estar preparado/a.
• Participa en las actividades de clase, pero necesita que la profesora se lo pida.
• Pocas veces, se ofrece de voluntario/a.
• Se recurre al inglés cuando se frustra.
D/F (69 & below)• Falta a clase.
• Con frecuencia, llega a clase sin estar preparado/a.
• Cuando participa, lo hace sin ganas.
• Habla inglés.

E-mail Policies:

Students are expected to read their email at least once daily in order to keep up with important announcements regarding our class.

I aim to reply to all e-mails within 48 hours during the semester. If ever I do not respond to an e-mail within 48 hours, please e-mail me again. Sometimes e-mails get caught in the spam folder or get buried under the sometimes very large number of e-mails I receive daily.

Please do not send e-mails asking for information that you could find on the syllabus or the course website. I may or may not respond to such e-mails.

Access and Accommodation Policy:

The college welcomes requests for accommodations related to disability and will grant those that are determined to be reasonable and maintain the integrity of a program or curriculum. To make such a request or to begin a conversation about a possible request, please contact the Office of Academic Access and Disability Resources, which is located in the Center for Teaching and Learning in the E.H. Little Library: Beth Bleil, Director,, 704-894-2129; or Alysen Beaty, Assistant Director,, 704-894-2939.

It is best to submit accommodation requests within the drop/add period; however, requests can be made at any time in the semester. Please keep in mind that accommodations are not retroactive.

Electronics in the classroom:

Because computer screens block faces and provide distraction, please take notes by hand. Because tablets are flat and annotating the readings is a crucial part of your work for the class, you can use a tablet to read PDFs in class as long as you have an annotation tool installed that allows you to mark up your readings. If you feel that your own circumstances warrant your bringing a laptop to class, please speak with me about it.

Finally, it should go without saying, but every year I see more and more students using their smart phones during class discussion, reflecting perhaps changing social mores around phone use. Sometimes, it is appropriate to use our digital tools to look up a word or concept during class; but it’s never acceptable to use your phone for personal tasks during class. Even the more surreptitious texting is distracting to others in the classroom. Please remember to silence your cell phones.


Regular and prepared attendance is a course requirement. More than one unexcused absence will result in your final grade being lowered by a third (a B becomes a B-), and this will repeat for each additional absence. According to College Policy, missing a substantial number of classes will result in automatic failure of the course. E-mail me before or after every absence with an honest explanation so that I am aware of your situation. You are responsible for completing any work that you miss because of any absence.

If you ever need to miss a class at DES, you must notify your DES teacher as soon as possible and copy me on the message. Remember that your classroom teacher plans his/her daily lessons allowing time for your Spanish lesson. Missing class is highly disruptive and unfair to the teacher and the students. You should only miss class under extenuating circumstances. Logically, if you are ill with something contagious, it is in everyone’s best interest for you to stay home and recover.

An important note about religious observance:

Please look carefully at the syllabus during the first week of class. If any of the assignments or class meetings conflict with a major religious holiday for your faith, then please let me know. Together, we will make the necessary accommodations. Religious observance warrants a legitimately excused absence, but please be courteous and tell me ahead of time.

Late Assignments:

You are expected to complete all readings and lesson plans for our Monday meetings. Extensions cannot be granted due to the nature of our course.

Honor Code:

Much of the work required for this course is collaborative. It is your responsibility, on your honor, to commit to collaborating. Specifically, you’ll work together with your teammates and spark each other’s creativity to craft the most effective and stimulating lesson plans. It is not permitted to split up the work and alternate tasks.

Many of the readings are in English, but our conversation and writing will be in Spanish. You may visit the Spanish tutors in the Writing Center for help with your grammar, but you must hand in both drafts of your work.

The use of Spanish Spell Check is recommended and encouraged in this class.

Many thanks to Professor Melissa González, whose own policies and language have informed much of my own.

Contact me:

Office: Chambers 3168
Phone: 704-894-2608

My fall office hours are:

Mondays 10:45-11:45
Thursdays 3:00-4:30
And, by appointment.

You can also find me at the Spanish Table in Vail Commons on most Fridays from 11:30-12:30.

© Copyright - Professor Kyra Kietrys