Returning to the College of Charleston in the Fall of 2007 to pursue and achieve a Bachelors Degree in Spanish, I spent one full year studying abroad in two different Spanish speaking countries. Living with native speaking families and attending their universities provided much more than immersion in the foreign language. I learned that any communication in any language requires intention, consideration, patience and the understanding that errors will always be made. My survival of and recovery from the errors constructed the foundation for a different way to communicate. Additional coursework in a Secondary Education program allowed me to spend my final semester in a practicum setting as a student teacher. I was fortunate to begin my teaching at a public charter school in Charleston working with students from grades 6th thru 12th, and a mentor who was a 12 year veteran teacher and native speaker from Medellín, Colombia. A favorite thing for me about students is catching them having fun with something they used to avoid or be nervous over. One central goal is to establish consistency and a confidence that will change the way you participate in the subject. The student who enjoys and takes pride in the effort they put into their own success will win big in anyone’s gradebook. When I am not taking over the world in Spanish!!... I like trying to cook things and always prefer music to television. I love playing golf but somehow I am much more adept at watching college football. Movies and books are always favorites as well, but only if they are in Spanish.
What is your teaching philosophy?
A teacher strives to establish and reinforce habits in learners that will create confidence and positive motivation towards academic participation. Students work, excel, and achieve through direct, personal investment in meaningful, fun and entertaining activities.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Start simply, Solve problems, Build confidence, and Have fun learning.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Share resources that helped me as a student and establish a process that will eliminate frustration and help the student focus on the goals that are important to their instructor/teacher.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Finding ways to relate their learning to things they enjoy doing outside of school and studying. Connecting learning to one's own daily life and routine equals interest and motivation.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
With a foreign language, it helps to take it apart with extensive explanation, and help them put it back together in a way that makes sense to them. I think of providing simple blocks they understand individually, then letting them build what makes sense to them.