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Kelley M. Robertson

Spanish Teacher, Choral Teacher
krobertson@newrootsschool.org
I was one of those high school kids that thought being fluent in a second language was out of my league. I studied for the tests and made As, but I thought you had to be "gifted" to actually be bilingual. Actually trying to get better at Spanish wasn't a priority for me, partly because I didn't know where to start, and mostly because I simply thought being fluent in another language was not in the cards for me. 
 
Suddenly, however, at 25 years of age, it had to be in the cards. My husband and I joined the Peace Corps in February of 2014, and we were sent to live and work in a rural town in Panamá, Central America. During my extensive training, I received a total of 110 hours of formal Spanish instruction, and by the end of my two years in Panamá living and working among native Spanish speakers, I achieved an advanced level of fluency in the Spanish language. Through my time in Panamá, I also had the invaluable privilege of growing to love the language and its culture alongside each other. I believe that if language is removed from its cultural context, it loses its meaning and relevance. 

My job description as a Peace Corps volunteer was to teach English, as well as leadership and life skills, to the school and greater community where I was living. My job was to first establish relationships with community members, and then to work alongside them to effect positive and sustainable change in their lives.

Projects in which I was involved included collaborating with local English teachers, volunteering with extra-curricular activities such as English Club and Chorus, designing and facilitating seminars to help rural teachers meet daunting national English standards in their classrooms, and working to empower and unite local women through fun activities such as Zumba and baking classes. 

In my classroom at New Roots, I am committed to every student's success. I want them to think of my class not as "Spanish class," but rather as a time when they get to learn Spanish. I can empathize with the apathy and frustration that comes with high school language class, and at the same time, be an example for my students as someone on the other side who has extinguished that self-defeating and damaging inner voice that says, "I can't." 

Other facts about me:

  • I graduated from Lander University with a B.S. in K-12 Music Education, an Emphasis in Piano, and a Minor in English.
  • I play the piano, violin, cello, guitar, and I love to sing.
  • I love rainy weekends, cooking good food when I am not rushed, and playing with my cat!


Classes Teaching

Spanish I, II, III, and IV

9th grade Advisory