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Hello!  My name is Teresa Smith.  The Northridge students know me as Senora Teresa or just Teresa.  I asked them to call me by my first name (pronounced in Spanish) because it has some difficult sounds in it and it’s good practice for them. 

I grew up speaking English and Spanish equally as a young child in south Texas.  My grandmother, who lived with us for months at a time, did not speak English, so I learned Spanish out of necessity. I studied Spanish in junior high and high school, where I learned that my way of speaking Spanish wasn’t the only way and it wasn’t even necessarily correct.  I decided to minor in Spanish in college, so that I could learn to speak and write the language properly rather than continue my native Texican-speak.  Spanish vocabulary and pronunciation vary across Spanish speaking cultures and I emphasize this to the students.  I am teaching them words and sounds as spoken by a Mexican-American population.  I am mindful to teach them proper Spanish and I readily admit when I’m not familiar with a word. I keep my dictionary handy. 

As for my other studies, I have a master’s degree in counseling psychology and have worked with children of all ages in therapeutic settings, school-based settings, daycare, and in my recent ownership of the Fun Bus.  My Spanish came in handy as a child therapist in Austin, where I conducted bilingual therapy sessions and psychological assessments.  I’ve had very few opportunities to practice my Spanish in Highlands Ranch in the years that I’ve lived here, and I’m happy to be using it again. 

Please be in touch if you have any questions about what your children are learning in Spanish.  I’ll do my best to keep the Spanish page current, but you are welcome to contact me directly via e-mail if you need additional information.