Teacher Feature: Brittan Engels

French teacher¬† Brittan Engels is a great teacher. She encourages her students to try their hardest and take risks, even if it means making mistakes. She said, “I let the students know at the beginning of the year that a language class is for trying their hardest and taking some risks, even if that means sounding silly or saying something wrong. On the flip side of this, I make sure that students understand that we do not judge or make fun of each other when students are speaking.”

Engels always has a clear plan for her lessons. She said, “I have a plan and purpose to what I am teaching each day. I think that they can clearly see why we are doing the activities we are doing and the practice that they need to complete, so they are more willing to engage in the work because they know how important it is leading to a skill that they will eventually be able to do.”

One of Engels’ favorite moments is when her students can speak French well. She said, “I will never forget being able to stay in French, teach in French, have students communicate with me in French, even telling jokes and stories. Whenever we have achieved this challenging communication goal, it really sticks with me because it feels like such a challenge, and they are really proud of themselves and impressed with what they can do.”

Engels uses a variety of activities to keep her lessons interesting. She said, “Constantly changing activities. We do all sorts of practice with reading, writing, listening, speaking and we do many things with games, partner work, music, etc. Mixing it up helps them stay motivated.”

Engels also tries to make her class both fun and challenging. She said, “With an elective class, the line between challenging and fun is always difficult for me. I want them to want to take my class. It is a choice, but I also want them to be able to produce French at the end. That can sometimes create a challenging class, and students don’t always want to take challenging classes.” Balancing fun and learning is important to her.

Engels is a dedicated teacher who cares about her students and works hard to make her classes engaging and effective.

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