David Sceggel

Ben, I thought I sent a bio earlier but I checked my sent mail and don’t see it.  Está bien because I didn’t include some of the things you are requiring now anyways. Thanks again for everything. This year has gone much better with a year of experience and this blog.
My name is David Sceggel. I teach Spanish 1-4 at Midland High School in Varna, IL.  I am the only foreign language teacher in the district. I have a really good situation here.
I graduated from Illinois State with a Technology Education degree and taught technology one year in Surrey, South London, UK.  After that, I taught four years of Jr. High technology in Bloomington/Normal, IL.
In the spring of 2007, I left my position and worked at an orphanage in Magdalena de Kino, Sonora, Mexico.  I became a “dad” to nine boys aged 6-15.  My language skills at the time were terrible, but with time I became pretty fluent with a good northern Mexican accent.
In the summer of 2009, I left the orphanage to marry my wife and we moved back to central Illinois. I jumped through the hoops to get certified in HS Spanish, and somehow, someway, talked my way into a job.
During that summer I kind of freaked out about the coming year and a wise teacher directed me to Blaine Ray.  After reading a page in German at a conference in KC, I was completely sold.  Devoured everything I could get my hands on. (TPRS in a Year! and PQA in a Wink!)
Last year I had such success with Spanish 1,2, and 4.  We were laughing and making huge gains. I had parents thanking me. It was awesome.
However Spanish 3 hated me. I didn’t know where to start with them, and went from too easy to too hard, and eventually the rich white girls (90% of the class) just stopped participating. Each day was a black hole of energy and I eventually just did mostly reading.
This year everything is going better.  Circling with Balls went awesome in Spanish 1, and I didn’t really know how to do PQA, until I saw (you) Ben Slavic do it at NTPRS this summer. Now I love PQA, so much fun.
My weakness is definitely upper level classes, but I think once I get to teach students that I’ve had for all their Spanish instruction, things will go better.
Right now I can’t do videos, also YouTube is blocked at my school. I do want to do videos though at one point, all the feedback people get makes me so jealous.  Maybe next year.
Thanks for everything,



2 thoughts on “David Sceggel”

  1. David, I had a similar experience with a group of ALL girls a couple years ago, who had had an easy traditional teacher (i.e. English all the time) before I came in. They resisted it, seemed to hate me, and we ended up doing mostly reading that they called (boring) because it wasn’t as good as what they could come up with. But they wouldn’t let the story-asking process unfold without shutting it all down. It was very frustrating indeed. They are black spots on the beautiful landscape that I think lies in front of you.

    1. thanks for the encouragement Jim. I had a freshmen tell me this year that when he comes into my class he just feels peaceful. He’s a goof, but that comment made me happy. Here’s one place a kid comes for 50 minutes where he doesn’t have to feel the loaded stress of school. Just relax, laugh, and learn Spanish while you’re at it.

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