Pedagogy for Human Development, Javeriana University
Paula Carson teaches Spanish in the Upper School, and has been a member of the World Language department at CDS since 2008. She has a Bachelor’s degree and a Master in Fine Arts and a Minor degree in Latin American Studies from the prestigious Los Andes University in South America.
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I first fell in love with teaching in 1994 while working as a teacher assistant in a bilingual American school located in Bogota (http://www.cng.edu). After that initial experience, I started providing private tutoring sessions at the same time that I was pursuing the completion of my five-year college degree. I graduated in 2000 and immediately accepted a six-month offer to teach ESL at a national oil company. When my contract was up I decided to keep Art as my passion and teaching as my official occupation so I signed up for a year-long program in Pedagogy for Human Development at the Javeriana University, which ended up granting me a teaching certification.
I have experience as a homeroom teacher, a language teacher and as a Spanish-English consultant. My experience involving children encompasses teaching Art in English, ESL, and SSL at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. I have also taught adult groups in multinational companies (Cargill, 3M, Nokia, etc.) and have helped executive level professionals advance their careers which are highly dependent on their English proficiency. In the US I have worked as a volunteer helping the Spanish speaking community at The Women's Center in Fayetteville, NC and teaching Spanish to the US Special Forces soldiers who undergo intensive language training designed by the US Defense Language Institute.
Creativity is paramount in my work. I’m a native Spanish speaker with considerable experience teaching Spanish as well as English to a wide range of audiences both in The United States and in my native Colombia. Cultural awareness has always played a major role in my life because I was born and raised Colombian but my maternal grandparents were immigrants from Spain. This had a tremendous impact on my family traditions and overall way of life. Growing up I always felt like I was experiencing the best of both worlds and I wanted to learn more. After graduating from high school I was fortunate to be selected for one of the openings offered that year to Colombian students who wished to travel abroad as part of the AFS intercultural program. This experience allowed me to live with an American family for a year, attend a US high school as a Senior, learn about American traditions, and make friendships with people my age from all over the globe. That year was fun and challenging and it ended up changing my life. Not only did I learn to speak English but I also learned about the diverse culture and history of the US. I made lifelong friendships with people from all kinds of cultural backgrounds and I met the person who ten years later would become my wonderful husband and the father of my precious children.
Now I live in Asheville, I work at Carolina Day School, and I teach the best Spanish students in town.