I have taught for 8 years in public high school. I have taught Spanish I, Spanish II, and I assisted in a Spanish for Native Speakers class. I also (currently) teach Pre-AP Spanish III, Pre-AP Spanish IV, IB (International Baccalaureate) Spanish IV, and AP Spanish V (Language and Culture). I am also the sponsor for Spanish Club and for Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica. I also have experience taking students to local and state festivals and competitions, giving the National Spanish Exam, and helping the students earn our state Biliteracy award. I have also tutored/taught private lessons for over 13 years.
My teaching style is communicative, real-world and personal. I believe that students need to speak the language every day through different modes. Interpersonal communication is especially needed for student development, and culturally appropriate in the study of world languages. Specifically, I love the Spanish language and her cultures. I have a passion to share that love with my students. My teaching is also rigorous and reflective. I hold the students to high (individualized) expectations and give them the supports needed to improve. I build the mentality of continued growth in proficiency, and that we are all life-long learners.
I have been a PLC leader several times at different Spanish levels. I have been our department Teacher of the Year. I have been recognized twice by our 'top graduating scholars' (in a ceremony in which the top 10 graduating students choose to honor the teacher who had the most impact in their lives). In 2017, I was selected by the Pulsera Project to come stay in Nicaragua and develop a free online set of curriculum based on real-world situations in Nicaragua. My IB/AP students consistently score 90%-100% passing for their overall score. I am also a National Board Certified Teacher (World Languages-Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood-Spanish).
My mother always stressed to me that education could be an open door for me to get beyond life's setbacks. We moved around many times as my mother looked for stable work. I attended many different schools, but graduated from high school in Northwest Arkansas. I then double-majored in vocal music and Spanish at the University of Arkansas - Fayetteville. I later returned to the University of Arkansas to complete a Master's degree in Secondary Education (emphasis: Foreign Language). In addition to Spanish, I also studied Mandarin Chinese and Italian at University. I continue to study them privately.
My mother was born in England, later moved to Canada, and finally to the U.S. She had studied Spanish and international relations. Living in San Antonio, TX, it seemed only natural for her to start teaching me Spanish as a young boy. Later on I also took Spanish classes in junior high, high school and college. During junior high I also started working at a restaurant. At the restaurant, by my junior year of high school, I was the default translator/interpreter (mainly with Mexican and Salvadoran employees and customers). I fulfilled this role for around 15 years - including being sent by the corporate office to help run new store openings across the country. During this time, I also fulfilled a dream of mine to go live in Panama with a missionary family. I lived with them through most of 2008, and spent time on subsequent trips in 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2015. Additionally, I've traveled to Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Peru, Canada, England, France and Italy.