TMSA is Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, occurring September 15 – October 15, 2019. Our school’s celebration and recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month begins by sharing Q&A with Señora Evans, Spanish teacher.
Q: Why did you decide to teach Spanish at The Main Street Academy (TMSA)?
A: This is my second year teaching Spanish at TMSA. Prior to teaching at TMSA, I taught high school Spanish in another state. TMSA presented a new opportunity for me to teach different grade levels spanning elementary to middle school. I enjoy playing interactive games with students in grades K – 4 and incorporating Spanish into social studies and history with my middle school students. Teaching Spanish at TMSA allows me the opportunity to improve my craft by teaching different grade levels.
I lived in Washington, D.C. before moving to Atlanta, GA and teaching at TMSA. I moved to Atlanta for love!
A: What is your favorite Spanish speaking country and why?
Q: Wow, that’s a tough question! It’s a 3-way tie between Spain, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba. I lived in Spain for two years, including my junior year of college and post college to teach. While living in Spain, I enjoyed frequenting the corner bakeries and easily traveling to European countries. I also enjoyed the diversity of Spain. I’ve traveled to the Dominican Republic three times. The Dominican Republic is the first country I traveled to outside of the U.S. where I saw people who looked like me. I don’t stay at resorts when visit the Dominican Republic, I stay with familia (family). My friend’s family from the Dominican Republic included me into their family wholeheartedly. Cuba is very special to me because of my family relations to the country and Celia Cruz, the Queen of Salsa. My paternal grandmother lived in Cuba the first five years of her life. My goal is to return to Cuba and find Celia Cruz’s house. The Cuban culture is amazing!
Q: What are some of the benefits of teaching Spanish K – 8 at TMSA?
A: For me, the most important benefit of teaching Spanish K – 8 at TMSA is adhering to the Comprehensible Input – a teaching style that works for all students. Comprehensible Input allows me to have Spanish speaking conversations with my students (no matter the grade level). For example, my kindergarten students learn their names in Spanish and answer storybook questions. Whereas, I can teach Spanish to my middle school students based on their various interests.
Q: Principal Parker has deemed the 2019 – 2020 academic year at TMSA as the #BestYearEver. How will you help ensure this school year as the #BestYearEver at TMSA?
A: I’m planning TMSA’s first ever international trip to Panama for the 8th grade class. The educational trip is planned for June 2020 and will cumulate the Spanish experience for TMSA’s 8th grade students. While teaching high school Spanish in Washington, D.C., I took my students on several trips to Panama. I personally know tour guides who live in Panama. I’m passionate about the Afro-Latina experience and teaching students accordingly. The last time I visited Panama, I dressed up in traditional clothing and danced. TMSA's annual International Day will be better than ever! I’m planning “Hispanic Night” in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. I envision “Hispanic Night” as a fun and immersive learning experience for TMSA students. Classrooms will be dedicated to art, music/dance, food, and more! The proposed event will serve as a fundraiser for the 8th grade class's trip to Panama next June, but most importantly help students to learn more about the Hispanic culture. Several TMSA parents are very eager to volunteer at “Hispanic Night”. Most exciting, several surprises in store this academic to ensure TMSA's #BestYearEver!
Q: Senora Evans what are your educational and professional aspirations?
A: Currently, I’m obtaining my Masters degree in Spanish Language Teaching from Southern Oregon University. I have two online courses to complete during the upcoming winter and spring terms. I will complete two classes next summer in Guanajuato, Mexico. I also completed classes in Guanajuato, Mexico during the summers of 2017 and 2019 (I relocated to Atlanta,GA the summer of 2018). I will present my thesis in 2021. Additionally, I want to obtain my Masters in Special Education (specializing in the area of Spanish content). Long term, I plan to obtain my PhD in African American Studies with a focus on the Afro Latina culture.
Q: What are some of your academic goals this school year for the students?
A: Essentially I want my kindergarteners to acquire as many words as they can in Spanish and count to 31 in order to say their birthday in Spanish. I want to prepare my 8th grade students for high school Spanish.
Q: How did you gain your introduction to learning Spanish?
A: I took my first Spanish class in high school. Believe it or not, Spanish wasn’t my first language of choice. I wanted to learn French but the French class was full. However, I fell in love with Spanish! During high school, I would engage with Spanish speaking persons outside of class to practice the language.
Q: Do you speak other languages?
A: I speak two languages…English and Spanish. However, I’m conversational in Italian and Portuguese. I took Arabic and Mandarin Chinese in college and I’m working French of sorts. My goal is to become a polyglot and speak seven languages. I want to speak the languages of my ancestors.
Q: The shawl you’re wearing is beautiful. Where did you purchase your shawl?
A: I purchased the shawl in Guanajuato, Mexico!
Visit Senora Evans' web page.