Gayle McFarland » About me

About me

Soy Gayle McFarland y soy una de las profesoras de español.
Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee, B.A. in Anthropology/Sociology
Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, California, M.Div.
University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, Tennessee, M.S. in Secondary Education



¡Bienvenidos al segundo semestre de español!

Congratulations! We have come through the first half of this very strange year!

I want to start by reminding you all of everything you have accomplished this year:

* The coronavirus pandemic was already global 12 months ago. Though I know many of us have lost friends and relatives to the virus, YOU ARE STILL HERE.

* Very few of us knew what Zoom or Teams were, and now we use one or both of them regularly, and have taught parents/grandparents/great-grandparents at least a little about how to use them.

* We have learned in-person and virtually, and switched back and forth enough that it's not new (though I still hate the switching).

* We know and use the term "social distancing" and are used to (or getting used to) wearing masks and seeing others in masks in order to keep ourselves and each other as safe as possible.

* Scientists have built on a decade and a half of research on coronavirus vaccine development and created not 1 or 2, but 3+ effective vaccines and have started getting them in the people most at risk.

* We have experienced (in-person and virtually) the joy of graduations, new babies, holidays and birthdays, acceptances to colleges, and a whole lot of "regular" life (even when done in new ways).

Remember that to be alive means to be in a constant state of change. We have to face the challenges as best as we can. We need to support each other when necessary and push each other to keep trying when things are tough.

Please, believe in yourself. You can and must continue to grow in good times and in bad. Believe that you can, ask for help when you need it, offer help when you are able.

Be flexible, forgiving, and kind. Be responsible and respectful.


Specific expectations in the classroom:

Wear a mask. You know from experience that this is the best way to be able to see your friends at school.

Please don't eat, drink, chew gum, or eat candy in class. It doesn't go well with learning a new language.

Arrive on time, both virtually and in-person. It is disruptive and disrespectful to do otherwise.

Take care of school property. Tell me if there's a problem or potential problem as soon as possible.

Please ask me if you feel like you need to do something contrary to my expectations.

Materiales escolares - School supplies

For Spanish II, you will need: 
a 3-ring binder,
at least 3 tab dividers,
loose-leaf notebook paper
a pencil or pen (Honors student must use a pen).
There is a $15 class fee. I know this will be hard for some families. $10 of it is for a student account for an online program that will be very useful in learning Spanish, especially this year. Talk to me if this is too much for your family's budget. 
I urge every student to wear a mask.
One per day will be available for each student, but I have found my own masks to be more comfortable and a nice fashion accessory. 
I highly recommended that you also have: 
a Spanish-English dictionary (trade paperback size is sufficient and it can be old), 
earbuds with a plug-in jack for the laptop. 
Personally, I prefer to use a mouse rather than a trackpad on my laptop. If you prefer a mouse, I encourage you to bring one that will connect to the laptops (USB port). This is entirely optional, based on your own preferences. 

Rules for Virtual Learning

  • Be responsible. Online learning really does rely on you to be responsible for your own learning.
  • Join the meeting on time. You do need to wait until I have started the meeting, but I am trying to start the meeting as soon as my door would be open when we are in-person.
  • Join with your camera on and your mic off. If I can’t see you, I will assume you are not present. If that’s at the beginning of class, I’ll count you as absent; if it’s during class, I’ll count that as skipping.
  • I should be able to see you from the shoulders up. Adjust your computer’s camera accordingly.
  • Dress appropriately for a business meeting. You need to have on a shirt that covers your shoulders and you should not wear a hat. If you stand up during a meeting, no one wants to see your stomach or your underwear.
  • Limit eating and drinking. No one really wants to see that.
  • Unmute yourself to talk (when called on, to ask a question), mute yourself to listen.
  • Use the meeting chat to communicate during class. If you have a private concern (i.e., something personal that is unrelated to class), you may send a message to my school email ( or to me through the Teams chat. It is harder for me to check either of these during class, but I will try to do so.
  • Be respectful.
  • Be flexible, forgiving, and kind. We are all doing a new thing, even though we’ve been practicing since school began. I’ll make mistakes, you’ll make mistakes. We all need to try our best, learn new things and new ways to learn, and forgive each other’s mistakes.