This is Ms. Pelland’s first year teaching Spanish at Garfield. She studied for her undergrad at Seattle University, where she also played soccer. Her Master’s degree was completed at the University of Washington, and she has a dual endorsement in ELL and Spanish. She did her student teaching last year at Ingraham HS.
Prior to becoming a high school Spanish teacher, Ms. Pelland taught for three years at Casa de Los Amigos in the University District. She was at the school during the “influx period,” when large numbers of unaccompanied minors came to the U.S. from Central America.
Ms. Pelland says that “motivation is the key to communicating” in another language. Her advice to students of Spanish: listen to Spanish-language music. Watch Spanish-language television. Get out of the classroom to immerse yourself in the language if you can, as it will help you overcome language anxiety (the nerves students sometimes feel when trying to use their skills outside a class setting). – Thanks to Kris Morada for this story.