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Chris Gellermann

Spanish Teacher/World Languages Department Chairperson

Office hours: M,T, W, Th 8:05-8:29 am


Bienvenidos a mis clases de Español. 

Learning Spanish will enable you to communicate with over 450,000,000 people worldwide.  It will connect you to the 23% of Floridians that are Hispanic.  It will help you develop intercultural competency which is high up on the list of employability skills.  It will open doors, create opportunities and add adventure to your life.  I love learning and teaching the Spanish language and feel very blessed to have the opportunity to teach at New Smyrna Beach High School.

I grew up in Columbus, Nebraska and earned my B.A. degree in Religion, Sociology and Human Services Administration from Hastings College.  I then joined the Peace Corps and served as a fisheries volunteer in Guatemala. I first learned Spanish through total immersion.

 Returning to the states, I worked several years in the mental health field and then became a U.S.A. Peace Corps Fellow teaching full-time on the Navajo Reservation while earning my Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from the University of New Mexico.  I took many additional Spanish classes to become certified and also passed the test for bi-lingual endorsement in Arizona.  I taught for over ten years in New Mexico and Arizona.  I have traveled to Spain, Cuba, Mexico, Honduras and of course Guatemala.

Recently, I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to the Volusia County Sister City of Campeche, Mexico in a teacher exchange program. This exchange was sponsored by Sister Cities of Volusia County and the University of Florida Center for Latin American Studies. I am excited to expand this exchange in the future, and am currently on the board of Volusia County Sister Cities.

This is my 16th year teaching Spanish at New Smyrna Beach High.  This year I am teaching Spanish 1, Spanish 1 (Medical) and Spanish 2.  Over the years I have taught levels 1, 2, 3, 4 and AP.  I am very proud that my last three AP classes have all had a 100% passing rate for the AP Spanish Exam.  Our school has graduated nearly 40 students with the Florida Seal of Bi-literacy over the past 5 years.

I really want students to identify with a personal reason or motivation to learn the language, and I want them to learn to the point that they can use it to enrich their lives.  To achieve this requires taking risks and going outside of the comfort zone at times.  It necessitates personal motivation and using the language beyond the classroom.  I strive to create a classroom environment with high expectations and where risk taking is allowed.  Learning a language takes hard work and making mistakes.  It is imperative to have a growth mind-set.

This year, 2020, will be a paticular challenge as we are living through the pandemic. I ask that students wear a mask in class unless they have a certified medical reason not to. And in that case, I ask that students wear a face shield.  I will do all that I can to keep us safe. I will have brick and mortar students while simultaneouly teaching additional Volusia Live students virtually. We must all be patient and understanding.  It will get smoother as we go.  If students go on the V-portal to Canvas that will be my main platform for communication of class assignments.  We will being using the digital resources with our newly adpoted text Autentico which is available in digital resources on the V-portal. Additional platforms such as Flipgrid, Microsoft Teams and/or Zoom will be used as well. I understand that the use of so many platforms can be overwhelming for students, parents and teachers too. We will take it slow and help will always be available in Office Hours (see above for schedule) which will be available virtually for the Volusia Live students and in person for the brick and mortar students.

Together we can do this!