Welcome to the Spanish Cave, a place where work and play merge together to create joyful, meaningful–and therefore valuable–learning.

Twelve years ago, at the beginning of my teaching career, my boss walked me to my new room and explained my job quite succinctly: “Teach Spanish”. There was no curriculum, no book, nothing to follow–I was on my own. While some would be overwhelmed by such a task, I was excited to begin with a blank canvas. The idea of a Spanish Cave came several years later, when I was moved to a tiny classroom and we started calling it La cueva/The Cave. This website is a collection of linguistic (primarily Spanish) resources and a documentation of my teaching journey. Enjoy!

Left: Deep in thought at “The End of the World”, Fisterra, Spain (12*W, 43*N). Above: Students ‘walking’ the Camino de Santiago.

Table of Contents

  • Blog/Inspiration: my own personal rambling on language, along with formal letters to optional, language-related activities for the summer and other vacations
  • Projects: project ideas- frequently updated
  • Museum: digital collection of students’ Spanish art/science/history museum exhibits
  • FAQ Page: frequently asked questions and answers about language
  • Newsletters & Pics: a look at the curriculum in an easy-to-read, narrative form, with slideshows
  • Spanish-Speaking Countries: culture-related links
  • By Country: same links as Spanish-Speaking Countries page, but organized by country (easier to scroll)
  • PK-5 Spanish: a look at the curriculum in an easy-to-read, narrative form, with links from previous years of pics, videos, and articles students have seen in class and may want to revisit at home
  • AP Spanish: resources
  • Travels: photos of my travels overseas, by country
  • About: fun facts about me
  • Music: collection of music in languages other than English
  • Privacy: privacy policy, as per the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Contact: contact information

Classroom Photos

Quotable Quotes

“We should learn languages because language is the only thing worth knowing even poorly. If someone knows how to play the violin only a little, he will find that the painful minutes he causes are not in proportion to the possible joy he gains from his playing. The amateur chemist spares himself ridicule only as long as he doesn’t aspire for professional laurels. The man somewhat skilled in medicine will not go far, and if he tries to trade on his knowledge without certification, he will be locked up as a quack doctor.

Solely in the world of languages is the amateur of value. Well-intentioned sentences full of mistakes can still build bridges between people. Asking in broken Italian which train we are supposed to board at the Venice railway station is far from useless. Indeed, it is better to do that than to remain uncertain and silent and end up back in Budapest rather than in Milan.” POLYGLOT: HOW I LEARN LANGUAGES

“In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.” -Miguel de Cervantes

“A language is not just a body of vocabulary or a set of grammatical rules. A language is a flash of the human spirit. It’s a vehicle through which the soul of each particular culture comes into the material world. Every language is an old-growth forest of the mind, a watershed, a thought, an ecosystem of spiritual possibilities.” -Wade Davis

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” -Dr. Seuss

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” -St. Augustine

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of the telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” -Dr. Seuss

“Kindness is a language the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” -Mark Twain

rabbit hunting

Bulletin Board Fun

*”Bulletin Board Fun” slides are credited to James Chapman.