Graciela Dickson

Foreign Language Teacher

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¡Hola! I have been teaching Spanish 1, 2 and 3 at our school since 2003. During college I majored in Psychology and Criminology. I started teaching Spanish at St. Joseph Catholic while my son (now 28) was attending the same school. I wanted to be near him. I fell in love with teaching Spanish (my native language) and I worked at St. Joseph’s for 4-5 years. I graduated from USF in 2003, and shortly I found a job teaching at Lake Region High. My son was attending this school, so it was logical for me to work here. I am in my 15th year here. My daughter attended LRHS for her first two years of high school and then graduated from Chain of Lakes Collegiate. The best thing about teaching at Lake Region are my students. I love to see the changes that happen as students mature; sometimes I have a student in 9-10 grade, but when the same student takes Spanish 2, he/she may be already a senior or a junior, so it is amazing for me to see the changes that happen in their maturity level. I have been invited to some of my former students' graduations and weddings, and it is such a good feeling to see them realizing their goals,and starting a family. I had many students who have become parents themselves; getting to meet their children is a wonderful experience for me. I have found former students working in local clinics and hospitals. Four of my former students have become MDs. Several have become lawyers, while four of my students have become Spanish teachers! One of my former students is even teaching here at Lake Region. Once, I had the wonderful experience of teaching 4 siblings in the same family, because they asked for me to be their teacher. I have been a mentor to many students; one of them calls me her second mom! She finished a BA degree and just applied for a MBA at Florida Southern. She is also the youngest member of the Kiwanis! I keep in contact with former students through social media, because for me, teaching is a call and a mission.

I really love being a teacher. My daughter and my daughter-in-law are elementary school teachers. I try to help my students to feel good about learning Spanish. We talk a lot about culture, but also, our program is very intensive because students have to acquire a basic/intermediate vocabulary so they can understand and communicate in complete Spanish sentences. We use a book, but also they have workbooks and videos to learn and to practice. We watch cultural mini video clips. I know that my students love the cultural experience that goes hand-in-hand with learning Basic Spanish, or Level 2 and 3 Spanish. Some students tell me that being able to understand a language is a rich experience for them. I have students who later in their lives, majored in languages (including Spanish), traveled to Hispanic countries, and enriched their lives with new experiences. Students who like the class and participate in cultural activities, as well as study at home, do quite well in my class. I tell students during the first day of class that learning a language can be a fantastic experience, but also, I emphasize,that learning a language requires time and a lot of practice, work, and study. This class is mostly for the students who will embrace the Spanish learning and cultural experiences with hard work and dedication.

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Mail : graciela.dickson@polk-fl.net

Location : 2-213

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