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Teaching Philosophy Paulina Shaw Teaching my native language makes me proud and invigorates me. When I attended Michigan State University, one my professors said: "We are never done learning." After twenty years of teaching experience I could not agree more. This statement has resonated with me since that moment. I am a teacher who believes that evolving lesson plans, varying methodology for concept comprehension and creating excitement for my students is a must. The best way to achieve all of these components is by continuing to learn through collaborating with my colleagues about their teaching techniques, presenting at conferences and continuing my professional development. The most crucial aspect to maintaining these components is observing how my students learn best, listening to them with an open mind and giving them choices for how to learn a difficult concept (e.g., completing handouts, creating PowerPoint presentations, working on a skit, online components, etc). My students, with the help of my guidance, discover techniques for studying and learning Spanish that work best for their learning style and at the same time are enjoyable. I believe in keeping my students motivated by using the element of surprise and by having the students apply Spanish in practical situations. For example, culture is a major aspect to learning a world language. If I was going to teach students about the Merengue, I would begin with the dance and invite individuals from the community to perform for my students and talk about instruments used in Merengue music. Also students love competition, so I encourage them to learn the language well and then have them participate in a World Language competition. Another avenue for students to understand the practicality of World Language is to encourage them to study abroad and volunteer at the local Hispanic/Latino outreach centers. My personal style of teaching has three fundamental elements: innovation, cultural awareness, and use of technological resources. Ultimately, I would like to instill in my students the desire to be independent thinkers, and not only to see the learning of Spanish as a university requirement, but as a skill that will benefit them in several areas of their lives. Learning a language helps them have better self-esteem, to reflect on their first language and see the comparison, to reach out to other cultures, to make traveling abroad easier, and to promote cultural awareness. Finally, I strongly believe that as an educator I should use all of my skills to assist my students in successful course completion. I do not think a student enjoys failing for the sake of failing. In other words, there is always a reason behind a student’s lack of motivation. If the student at the end of the course does not improve with my help, at least I can feel that I have done everything in my control to empower the learning of a particular student. I am a teacher that is very passionate about motivating others to do the best they can.
PROFESSIONAL HONORS Dad’s club Faculty Award Cranbrook Schools, 2013. The award allowed me to attend Concordia Language Villages School in Minnesota. Dad's Club Faculty Award Cranbrook Schools, 2011. Mary Bramson Alumni Award, 2010. Middle School Excellence in Teaching Award, 2007. Dad’s Club Faculty Award Cranbrook Schools, 2007. Dad’s Club Faculty Award Cranbrook Schools, 2006. Schulak Professional Development Award, 2005. Macul Science and Technology Award, 2003. King Chavez Rosa Parks Fellowship 1989, 1990 and 1991. FUNDS ACQUIRED Money for sponsoring the 36th Annual Fun Run at Cranbrook, May 2014, $4,500. Major sponsor Fiat and Coca-Cola. Money for sponsoring the 35th Annual Fun Run at Cranbrook, May 2013, $7,120. Money for sponsoring the 34th Annual Fun Run at Cranbrook, May 2012, $4,700. Money for sponsoring the 33rd Annual Fun Run at Cranbrook May 2011, $3,300. Fundraiser for Robinson Crusoe Island, May 2010. $2,300. Money for sponsoring the 31st Annual Fun Run at Cranbrook, May 2009. $1,500. Special Projects: Director of a Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Connecting cultures through myths and legends of Chile. This project has the support of the Chilean writer Isabel Allende and the collaboration of Ana María Pavez Recart, Chilean author of children’s books and the historian-author, Olaya Sanfuentes.
BS: Bachelor of Science. Central Michigan University December, 1990 Spanish Language & Literature English Language & Literature MA: Master of Arts. Central Michigan University Education Administration May, 1990 (on my last semester when I was finishing up my Bachelor Degree, I started working at the same time on my Master of Arts Degree with permission from the University President). Graduate work at: Michigan State University Spanish Language & Literature June 1991 to May 1993 Post-Grad: Harvard University Educational Law Certificate Summer 1994
My name is Paulina Shaw. I am originally from Santiago, Chile and I moved to the USA in 1984. I have twenty years of teaching experience. My experience includes instructing at Michigan State University for two years, and at Marygrove College for one year. I have been teaching Spanish for Cranbrook Schools since 1996. At Cranbrook, I have also taught for 12 years for the Horizons Upward Bound Program. I am certified to teach Spanish grades 9 through 12. I also have experience in establishing programs for teachers. At Cranbrook, I established a faculty exchange program between Cranbrook Schools and Santiago College in Santiago, Chile. I also was the director of a Fulbright-Hays-Group Projects Abroad. The project was written with the collaboration of Dr. Margaret Winters from Wayne State University and the implementation of teacher collaboration projects between Cranbrook Schools and Cornerstone Schools. My ability to and experience with planning the implementation, along with the follow-up of academic programs are some of my fortes. I also have excellent public relations skills, and enjoy helping my students in very constructive ways, guiding them, and facilitating them to pursue and accomplish their goals.