About Señora Baskett
At this time, all Spring Into Spanish classes are taught by myself, Miche Baskett. I developed the curriculum, create most of the course materials, and administrate the business. I am based in the Atlanta area in Georgia, USA.
Teaching and Learning Spanish
I have almost thirty years of educational experience. My first teaching job was as an assistant to the Spanish department at my college. Since then I have taught both Spanish and English to infants up to elderly adults, including over a thousand preschool and elementary children in my hometown. It has been my great honor to get to know so many students. I love teaching and thoroughly enjoy working with children.
English is my first language, so I prioritize exposing my Spanish students to native accents via music and other media. Being a Spanish learner myself gives me insight into the learning process of my students and provides them with inspiration as they see that one day they too could be bilingual (or multilingual!).
I learned Spanish through study (high school, college, and graduate school), and from living abroad in Spanish-speaking countries. I lived and studied (for up to 6 months at a time) in Honduras, Costa Rica, and Spain. I worked for six months in Chile and have traveled for over a month each in Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, and Mexico. I have visited El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Colombia. Ask me sometime about my adventures abroad-- I have so many stories! I continue to return regularly to Honduras. To my teaching, I bring an extensive wealth of understanding and information about Spanish-speaking countries from all over the world, and I am passionate about sharing my enthusiasm for the language.
Becoming a Language Teacher
During college, I spent over a year living and studying in Spanish-speaking countries. One semester, I volunteered as a student teacher in a second-grade classroom in Costa Rica as part of my coursework. After graduating from Davidson College in North Carolina, I taught English and Spanish in an adult-literacy program in Atlanta. I then traveled through South America and settled in Chile to teach English to both adults and children. Returning from Chile to visit my family, with my experience as a language teacher and my fluency in Spanish, I was quickly hired to help build the new World Language Program in the elementary schools of my hometown. I had not planned to become a language teacher (I was on my way to becoming an anthropologist), but I got hooked on how teaching uses all available talents and both sides of the brain (creativity, organization, academic knowledge, human relations, etc...). I now believe that language teachers open the world to their students in an essential way that makes this incredibly important work.
Coordinated Outstanding Program
I taught in the City Schools of Decatur, near Atlanta, Georgia, from 1998 to 2003. During that time, I coordinated the Elementary Spanish program, wrote the curriculum, helped recruit, hire, and train new teachers, and provided instruction to students in grades kindergarten through third. Our program was a model program for other schools around the country and I was often asked to present at professional conferences, sharing ideas for best teaching practices. Meanwhile, I received a tremendous amount of training and mentoring and I was also supported as I took graduate level classes in Early Childhood Education, Spanish Education, and spent a summer studying at the University of Salamanca in Spain.
In 2002, my twins were born and I took time off from working in order care for them. I started teaching Spanish again in 2005, finding a job at Decatur Presbyterian's Children's Community where my children attended preschool. My children are now in college, but I have stayed at the preschool, teaching Spanish there a few mornings a week. When my children started elementary school, I wanted to work more hours so I created Spring Into Spanish, which has been going strong since 2008. I have an over 95% retention rate (students who try classes one session return for the next session) and many of my students stay with me for 3+ years. I have some students who have been with me for over six years.
Spring Into Spanish started as in-person classes for families. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I had to pause the classes and quickly get good at teaching online. During that time, I invested time in learning best-practices for online teaching and began networking with online language teachers from many different areas of the world. I discovered how wonderful it can be to have students from all over and I found the many advantages and conveniences of online classes. I am very grateful to my loyal and kind local students who missed seeing me in-person but continued lessons with me during the early days of transitioning to online classes. I now have students from many states in the US and look forward in the years to come to growing Spring Into Spanish into a thriving online program.
Recently I have added some in-person events, camps, and classes back to my schedule, while maintaining my online offerings. I intend to continue this combination of in-person and online teaching, and I love both for their different advantages.