The Short Story
My name is Tabitha Carro. I taught kindergarten for six years in Augusta, GA, and I have now taught for several years in Lexington, SC as a Spanish partial-immersion math and science 4th grade teacher. I absolutely LOVE what I do now, and this blog is all about the ways I try to make learning fun.
The Not-So-Short Story
I had an awesome Spanish professor at North Greenville University in Greenville, SC who was key to igniting my infatuation for the language. I was studying elementary education, but whenever I could, I would study the Spanish language and try to practice it with Spanish exchange students. I also spent two summers in Trujillo, Honduras as an English teacher.
After graduating, I spent a year as a substitute teacher and then finally became a “real” teacher in a kindergarten classroom at Collins Elementary in Augusta, GA. I spent six years there and absolutely loved my teacher friends and my teaching assistant, Mrs, Barnes (my second mom), but it was SO hard. To all who teach in Title 1 schools with little help and parent support, you are amazing. Don’t give up and please know that you are one very talented and unique individual to continue making a difference as a teacher like you are.
So anyways, during these six years, my Spanish took a back seat to teaching and life in general. My older brother was in love with the Japanese culture and living in Japan as an English teacher, so in the spring of 2005, my mom and I paid him a visit. Always competitive, he made the remark that his Japanese was about to surpass my Spanish.
Uh, uh. I definitely wasn’t having that. As soon as I got home, I began exploring the internet for ways to master the Spanish language without living abroad. I came across a page that allowed you to sort of do a pen pal format with people from other countries who were wanting to practice Spanish or English.
Well, word to the wise, the internet can change your life. At the same time that I posted my info., my future husband in Zarate, Argentina, decided to click on this website and add me as a friend.
The next two years were unbelievably crazy. Teaching by day, Skyping by night. We arranged to visit each other in Peru in the summer of 2006. I spent the next year visiting him in Argentina during all of my holiday breaks.
After spending the summer ’07 with him in Zarate, we had a fabulous Argentinian wedding on July 28, 2007. After honeymooning in Uruguay, I had to leave him to go back to teaching and he had to wait for his immigration papers to go through. On October 8, 2007, he made his first step on American soil.
And that’s when I started to realize I could now speak Spanish fluently.
Oh the power of love. 🙂
My husband started a Hispanic newspaper in Columbia, SC. Teaching was becoming more and more difficult for me at Collins, so in 2009, I began to look for a position near Columbia, SC. Of course, finding a teaching job at that time was more competitive than winning Miss America, and it didn’t look hopeful. But then I received a call from a district in Lexington, SC, who wanted me to interview for a teaching position in a Spanish immersion program.
I could not believe my luck. Was I really going to find a teaching job and one where I could actually use my Spanish?? Yes, I was!
At the time that I am writing this, I am in my 4th year teaching 4th graders in a Spanish partial-immersion program. I teach math and science to two different classes. They receive their English and social studies instruction from my partner teacher, who just happens to be the most awesome and talented teacher in the world. I got lucky. Once again.
My school (Pleasant Hill Elementary) allows me the freedom to explore teaching techniques that fit my personality and make me an effective teacher. More than anything, I believe the key to learning is fun – play with a purpose. I use small groups, technology, and hands-on activities such as lapbooks to achieve the goal of fun learning.
This style is not for everyone, but since I am not a great speaker or entertainer, this is how I engage my students. And this blog is a way for me to share what I am doing and learning with others who may teach in a similar way.
If you’ve made it all the way down to this part, I really wish I had an award to give you because you deserve it! Thanks for taking your precious time to read about me.
Oh, and just in case you were wondering – no children yet. I’m having too much fun with my Yorkie-Poo and chins. 🙂