I have been doing some soul searching lately and have been spending a lot of time thinking about what we do at the Language Academy and why we do it. Hands down, the best answer I can give is the people. I am talking about the students and the teachers, and the relationships that we develop with one another. Over the coming months I am going to share some of these stories in this space. I can’t think of a better person to start with than with Chayree Santiago Thomas. Chayree and I met through one of my very first students named Donna and when I say first I really mean it. In 2004 I started teaching Spanish classes out of my Parents’ dining room in Huntersville and Donna was there. Chayree is not only a great teacher, she is a personal friend, and she’d like for you to know that she’s from the beautiful country of Colombia. I recently sent her a few questions and here are her answers:
- How long have you been teaching at the Language Academy?
This year is my 10th year teaching at the Language Academy.
- How has your teaching style has evolved over time?
My teaching style has been based on motivation. Over time I have learned to understand my students’ needs more quickly and to achieve a productive Spanish class through an encouraging environment, supported by cultural elements, personal experiences, an enthusiastic attitude, and professional training.
- What’s your favorite level to teach and why?
I enjoy teaching all levels, but I would say the first level could be my favorite, because it is bigger a challenge and student progress is more evident.
- What do you like most about teaching at the Language Academy?
First, the work environment is professional and like a family at the same time. Second, the students who register at the Language Academy really want to learn and come with the best attitude for learning.
- What do you like to do when you are not teaching?
I like cooking and talking to my family and friends.
Craig Snyder is the Owner and President of The Language Academy of the Carolinas, Inc.