Teaching has been a life-long, rewarding career for me. Creativity and cleverness are natural skills for me, and help me capture the interest of students at all ability levels. It is challenging and exhilarating at the same time to get through to students who may or may not love your subject area or who find it next to impossible to absorb. In the middle school classroom, where I spent most of my classroom years, out of the box thinking and activities were invigorating and inspiring even to the most resistant students.
In my elementary years, I struggled to master some academic subjects, so when I found that my extraordinary ideas, activities and approaches to learning were so successful, I was thrilled to see that new and exciting teaching techniques help everybody learn more and better, and actually enjoy it.
My strong personal connection to the many students I have taught, arose from my genuine enjoyment of them and vice versa. Traveling with students to numerous Spanish speaking countries was an enriching offering and was never a burden for me. Leading students to test out their language skills and explore new worlds is so rewarding. I observed that most saw that "hey, I can actually use my Spanish. They also could see that they would continue to work at it to attain full fluency.
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater was where I studied Spanish education, capped off by an immersion in Northern Argentina, attending classes at the Universidad de Tucuman. My family's strong language talents were nurtured through yearly family trips to Mexico from age 4 through high school when I began formal Spanish and later Latin classes.
I went on to pursue a Masters degree in Educational Computing. Having cutting edge technology skills which enhances my teaching, and yet, there is always a time and place for a book on a child's lap. Knowing when to use one or the other makes my classes rich.
Another capstone of my education came when I was selected to join a group of 14 Spanish teachers and librarians for a Fulbright-Hays special project scholarship to study Hispanic children's and youth literature for five weeks in Chile. We studied under children's author, Cecilia Beauchat, met with many of the top children's authors, and were introduced to the Feria de Libros, the largest Spanish book fair in the world. This experience confirmed that and colored my use of stories as the key thread to bring meaning to language, not just teaching lists of vocabulary and grammar, but using stories that tug at your heart, make you laugh and draw students in to using language in context, to function in real situations and to express feelings, ideas and to understand people in other worlds.
Spanish Video Portfilios are a tool that I have cultivated to record my students from the earliest days, and subsequently to help them see and hear evidence of their language growth over time.
Spanish language and computer technology are my strongest areas of expertise, but I can apply my strengths and techniques to many other learning topics.
My teaching niche is customizing curriculum to match each students desires, needs and abilities with whatever it is they are tackling, and I thrive with flexible meeting option. I will come to you, we can meet at the local library or coffee shop, and videoconference teaching is another option I am experienced with and handle with ease even if my student isn't sure of their online learning skills.
My strong insight allows me to read where my students are, know what they need and build learning activities that make the learning fun and easy for each one.
I thrive on artistic pursuits and will never turn down a Scrabble game. I love spending spring, summer and fall days riding my recumbent bike and gardening. When I share any of these with my grandchildren, now that makes it pure joy!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Washington-Bothell Campus - Bachelor of Science, Spanish Teacher Education
Graduate Degree: Cardinal Stritch University - Master of Science, Computer Teacher Education
Art, cycling, singing, gardening
Basic Computer Literacy
Mac Basic Computer Skills
PC Basic Computer Skills
SAT Subject Test in Spanish with Listening
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Technology and Computer Science