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Chris Gellermann

Spanish and World History Teacher/World Languages Department Chairperson
Website: Website

Office hours: M, T, Th, Fr  12:03 pm- 12:18 pm

Room: 5-104


Bienvenidos a mis clases de Español. And Welcome to my World History and Geography classes.

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.  This year I wanted to try something new.  In addition to Spanish 1, I will teach two sections of World History and Geography.

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, and World History and Geography.  Over the years I have taught Spanish  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 50 students with the Florida Seal of Bi-literacy over the past 6 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. Last year I experimented with connecting Spanish to the medical/health professions. I plan to continue with this effort in my level 1 classes this year showing students how their study of Spanish could be very useful in the health care profession. We will cover everything we normally do in Spanish 1 but incorporate, vocabulary, structures and communicative situations relevant to health care. I believe the more students see a purpose or use for the language, the more engaged they will be.

Over my nearly 30 years of teaching I have found that one of the greatest things about teaching is that you continue to learn. We are students ourselves. I am very enthusiastic about taking on a new challange by teaching two World History classes. I look forward to collaborating with and learning from the other World History teachers. There are so many connections between the World Languages and World History. This is exciting!

This year, 2021-22, will continue to be a challenge as we are still living through the pandemic. I will do all that I can to keep us safe. We must all continue to be patient and understanding. If students go on the V-portal to Canvas that will be my main platform for communication of class assignments.  We will be using the digital resources with our texts which are available in digital resources on the V-portal. Additional platforms such as Flipgrid, quizlet, etc. 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).

This will be a great year!