Nina Akerman, our Spanish teacher: “Never give up!”

Nina Ackerman

Nina, would you share about your Clayton State program and why you’re studying Spanish?
I’ve always wanted to learn Spanish ever since I was a little girl. When I went to high school I took two years of Spanish as an elective. When I started at Clayton State, I was required to take four semesters of Spanish. I decided to minor in it, in hopes that one day I’d be able to use Spanish to help others. I love to travel and to be able to help those in Spanish-speaking countries — or even in America — learn English.

How has AYA helped you grow in the realm of teaching?
I’ve really enjoyed watching our students get excited about learning Spanish. I’ve had a lot of experience working with children of all ages, from teaching Sunday School at church, and from working with the after-school program in Clayton county. This experience is a bit different because I’m teaching all grade levels at AYA, not just one age group. This has helped me to adjust to each grade  level and communicate with each age group. This has also helped me gain better organizational skills.

What do you appreciate about education?
I believe education is very important. As a student, I always strived to make A’s. I made the dean’s list every semester. I love learning and helping others learn. The key is to never give up. If you struggle in a certain subject, never think of yourself as a failure. Stop saying you can’t learn it. Just keep practicing and praying about it. Do all you can and God will help you with the rest. This applies to everything in life.

Would you share some student stories of life here at AYA?
There are so many stories. Each of the students is important to me. Some of the most recent AYA stories include watching a student in 4th grade make a 105% on a Spanish quiz for the first time after not doing so well on previous quizzes!

Next blog post — Photos from Career Week!

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