What is Down and Dirty Teaching?

So… you’ve decided to be a language assistant.  Now what?

Maybe you’re just arriving in Spain, or perhaps you’ve been here for a little while, or maybe you’re still organizing your paperwork.  Having nightmares about 30 pairs of eyes staring you down when you’ve got nothing to say? 

Not to worry, we’ve got you covered.

Down and Dirty Teaching is a language assistant support system run by two teaching experts from the US with more than 25 years of teaching under their belts.  It’s a series of workshops targeted to let you hit the ground running and excel every month.

You’ll get:

  • The information you need, when you need it
  • Monthly resources and freebies
  • Targeted support
  • Clear, concise strategies for success
  • A supportive community
  • Expert guides
Sign up for our next workshop!

Be confident in the classroom

Diane and Kathryn both use comprehensible input, scaffolding, and differentiation to make sure all students are acquiring language skills.  This won’t be a stuffy methods course, but you will learn:

  • Teaching techniques that work
  • Planning strategies
  • How to make a last-minute “bag of tricks”
  • How to turn a boring textbook into an engaging activity
  • How to recreate reusable activities you can use month after month

If you were up late last night, worried about class, we’ve got your back.

Sign up for our next workshop!

Diane Max

Preschool and Lower Primary Education Expert

Diane has been in love with the idea of becoming fluent in Spanish and living in Spain since her third grade teacher talked about her experience there during college. She prepared herself in high school by being the only one in her Spanish classes taking copious notes on the root of the Greek and Latin words which her teacher would talk about. Her dream came true when she studied her junior year in Seville and returned after graduating from the University of Michigan with a BA in Spanish Language and Literature. 

Having studied two foreign languages extensively (she also speaks German), she has learned the difference between the good teachers and the bad ones. She believes she is one of the good ones who tries to engage her students by scaffolding appropriately, incorporating interactive activities, music, stories and all kinds of fun activities so that the students don’t think they are learning, but rather, playing.

After working many, many years in Administration and Human Resources in positions where she was hired because she was bilingual, she finally decided to make the change to teaching, and since 2004, she has yet to look back. After teaching high school Spanish for three years, she decided it was time to return to Spain and get her Master´s degree in Spanish Language and Literature. Once in Spain, she immediately began teaching English to adults and teens, and eventually made the switch to infants and primary which has become her true passion.

Want to know how to capture a child’s interest in class? Need help getting routines together so that the little munchkins know what to do? Need to know what phonics are and what are they for? Can’t figure out why your kids don’t know how to read? Ask Diane, she’ll tell you that and more!

Kathryn Kosmider

Upper Primary & Secondary Education Expert

Kathryn is a language acquisition nerd who wants to make teaching and learning fun and easy for students AND instructors. She has a degree in Spanish Education and a Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Always learning, she attends and leads workshops about language acquisition, focusing on making materials accessible and making learning engaging and fun.

Now based in Madrid, Kathryn has taught English and Spanish since 2012 in public, charter, and private schools across the US and Spain. She has worked for the US State Department and Spanish Ministry of Education as a language and culture expert. She has written curriculum for Teach for America, HOOP Peru, and Avenues Online and facilitated teacher trainings for Teach for America, Avenues Online, and Madrid’s Cooperative Bilingual School Union.

If you’re looking for strategies to make your teaching life easier, you’re in the right place. Kathryn has worked with first-year teachers as a coach since 2015 and has trained some of the best teachers in the US and Spain.