Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Student Spotlight: Gabrielle Wooden

Gabrielle Wooden, in Alicante with an amiguito.
by Ann Abbott

So many of my students just graduated this past weekend. Congratulations to all of them! It is a tough job market, and I know that many of them are struggling with tough decisions. Should I go to grad school? Should I go now or after working for a few years? How can I find a job that allows me to move out on my own? I really want to live abroad, but how can I find a job in another country?

Gabrielle Wooden has made her decision and knows exactly what her plans are: Teach for America.

Here are a few facts about Gabrielle:
  • She took "Spanish in the Community" with me and worked at Booker T. Washington Elementary School.
  • She continued doing Spanish community service learning (CSL) work in my "Spanish and Social Entrepreneurship" course.
  • She studied abroad in Alicante, Spain.
  • She friended me on Facebook, so I am lucky to be able to follow her adventures and stay in touch with her. I loved it when she posted pictures of her visit to Germany to see Victor Vasalla, another classmate from our "Spanish in the Community" class together. (I am very happy when my former students friend me on Facebook; it lets me stay in touch, and I hope it helps them to know that they can pick up with me at any time if they ever need my help.)
Gabriela sent me the following message to share her exciting news: 

"I wanted to let you know that I have been officially hired and have signed a contract with Myrtle Hall IV Language Immersion Elementary Magnet School (long name, I know!).  I will be teaching 1st grade to a predominantly African American student body, using Spanish 90% of the time and English only 10% of the time and only for English reading and grammar lessons.  I am so excited that my Spanish capabilities have opened this door for me and am very eager to embark on this new chapter of my life!  I will keep you updated and let you know how teaching in Spanish goes! Again, thank you so much for your continued advice and support throughout my collegiate years! :)

"Spanish teachers are actually in very high demand in poor communities and Teach for America is really embracing sending Spanish teachers out in these communities as part of the corps- if any of your spanish students are interested in a 2 year detour and one heck of an experience you should definitely give them my name and contact information! :) I look forward to keeping in touch."

If you are interested in Teach for America, talk to Gabriela. And don't forget that Brianna Anderson is going on to Teach for America, too. 

Good luck to all the 2012 UIUC grads!

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