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Maria

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I have been a teacher and mentor for over 20 years. I have worked with Miami-Dade County Public schools for over 15 years teaching all levels and programs in Spanish from kindergarten to high school. These teaching assignments have been a great opportunity to use my skills as a strong language teacher. I also include my knowledge of history, literature and the humanities in my practice.

I graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a degree in Literature and Humanities. My research work on Spanish literature was published by the University's literary journal. After moving to Miami, I completed a Master's Degree in Modern Languages Education from Florida International University. I became a Spanish/Young Adults National Board Certified Teacher in 2005. I am a member of the Foreign Language Teachers Association and the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, and have been a certified AP Spanish teacher and exam reader with the College Board since 2006.

I have been elected to be department chairperson in several occasions, working at two large urban schools within the Miami Dade district. I opened and expanded an International Baccalaureate program at John A. Ferguson HS, where I became an IB certified teacher, later on training and supervising 16 teachers in 8 different languages offered at the school. I taught and led an ESL department in Boston, MA for two years; where I also got an active certification in Spanish k-12. I published a short, bilingual story dedicated to my late father in June 2012. I now live in the Orlando area with my husband Jose and our dog, Harry.

Maria’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras - Bachelors, Humanities-Spanish

Graduate Degree: Florida International University - Masters, Education-Modern Languages

Hobbies

cooking, reading, journaling, fishing and riding bike.

Tutoring Subjects

ACCUPLACER Language Use Prep

ACT Writing

Adult ESL/ELL

AP Spanish Language & Culture

AP Spanish Literature and Culture

CLEP Prep

CLEP Humanities

CLEP Spanish

College Application Essays

College English

Comparative Literature

Conversational Spanish

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing

English

ESL/ELL

Essay Editing

High School Writing

IB Language A: Language and Literature

IB Language A: Literature

IB Language ab initio

IB Language B

IB Theory of Knowledge

Italian

Languages

Latin America History

Other

Phonics

PRAXIS

PSAT Critical Reading

Social Sciences

Social studies

Spanish

Spanish 1

Spanish 2

Spanish 3

Spanish 4

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Test Prep


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

"Have you seen the kind who settles for less? Who creep into corners, just big enough for one? They are unopened letters whose message is this: Live! Live! Live!" (Rumi, 1207-1273) A learning organization is a collective of talents in a quest to achieve common goals of service and excellence. An effective learning organization is one guided by a common set of goals and purpose. It is by definition, an organic and ever growing being; adaptable and open to continuous change. The obstacles are many in today's culture of individualism and self-centeredness. Many organizations fail to strive due to lack of team building and an ingrained common purpose. It has been my general experience working in several learning organizations, that this lack of focus and commonalities produce dire results. In an educational setting, the target audience are our students, their minds and probably a great part of their future. A strong desire to serve needs to be an integral aspect of an effective organization, as well as defined goals clearly established from the start. These should never be available at the expense of flexibility and adaptability, especially in our culturally diverse work arena. A great leader will allow for professional and personal growth, regardless of cultural differences. The recruitment and conservation of optimal human capital will be obtained by nurturing, rather than managing, people. The great leader will guide, delegate and provide opportunities to lead. An organization will be successful where each member is aware of expectations and has a strong sense of belonging. I worked for over 20 years teaching all levels and programs in Spanish from kindergarten to high school. These teaching assignments have been a great opportunity to use my skills as a strong language teacher. Graduating from a private school where I was enrolled in AP courses, I put myself through college thanks to a strict scholarship where music and performing arts had to be combined with academics. I graduated with a degree in Literature and Humanities. My research work on Spanish literature was published by the University's literary journal. I completed a Master's Degree in Foreign Languages Education. I am also a member of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. These prestigious organization allowed me to open a chapter of the Hispanic Honor Society at both high schools I served at. I was in charge of the AP Spanish Program for over ten years, with over 95 percent of my students scoring 3 and above. I also believe in the great power of culture and the humanities across the curriculum; these will prove invaluable when our youngsters are ready to face college's academic challenges and be part of a global community. My goal has been to be a dedicated teacher who enjoys her students and provides every opportunity for them to excel and succeed. Mentoring other younger educators has been close to my heart, and furthering my education and experience will provide more strategies for me to do so. I am honored to have been selected as a mentor teacher in the International Baccalaureate program at my former school. The summer training made me aware of the importance this great curriculum gives to a well-rounded education. All the strategies I currently use in class will be an asset to my students, since I include art, music, geography and history within each program. In charge of creating the new curriculum for IB Spanish, my experience included curriculum design for the Italian, French, German and Russian programs. All the experience I have gleaned in curriculum design and educational policies will have an impact on many students and their rigorous course of study. I am very motivated to get started in a doctoral program since it will further my professional scope of influence and will allow me to interact with other colleagues and programs at an international level. My enthusiasm seems to be contagious, since former students always remember part of their classes with me. This has been the greatest accolade to my teaching practice: they share my love for literature and art, and learn to appreciate how it becomes a powerful means of self-expression.