Education

Published on October 29th, 2014 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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District Five teacher publishes Spanish book

Pictured: Leaphart Elementary School Spanish teacher Jacqueline Barnett. 

IRMO – One Lexington-Richland School District Five teacher hopes to make learning Spanish as easy as uno – dos – tres.

Jacqueline Barnett, a Spanish teacher at Leaphart Elementary School, has published a new book entitled “Mi Libro de Las Letras.” The Spanish alphabet book, which in English translates to my book of letters, includes illustrations and Spanish words for each letter of the alphabet.  It was published earlier this school year by Bookemon and can be purchased online through Bookemon.com

“The purpose of the book is to help emerging English speaking and/or Spanish speaking students learn the Spanish alphabet and Spanish vocabulary,” Barnett said. “I have always wanted to write a book ever since I can remember. Believe it or not, I had recently stumbled across a list of goals that I created in the 9th grade, and one of those things on the list was to write a children’s book.”

Barnett may have always known she would write a children’s book, but her decision to teach came much later.

“At some point along my life’s journey, an opportunity presented itself,” said Barnett, who majored in print journalism as an undergraduate student at Buffalo State College in New York. “I started teaching Spanish part time at a Catholic school because I felt I had enough college courses for that level…. And to my surprise, I loved it. That was my aha moment, and I realized that was what I was supposed to get my master’s degree in: teaching. I have never looked back.”

At Leaphart Elementary School, Barnett is able to do what she loves each day. In early fall, a group of kindergarten students file in around her, belting out an alphabet song before settling down to hear Barnett read her book to the group.

“A – Avoin. B – Ballena…Ballena azul,” Barnett recites from the book.

Other educators at the school say they’re not surprised that Barnett has published the book. “She’s a go-getter who is passionate about teaching and passionate about teaching Spanish,” said Leaphart Principal Kelly Brown. “I think her book, which uses illustrations to reinforce lessons on Spanish letters, will have a big impact on our students – not just because it’s helping them learn the language but because they’re able to see their teacher achieve her dream.”

With her dream now realized, Barnett encourages other aspiring teacher-authors to “just go for it.” Above all, she says, teachers should be passionate about the lessons they teach their students each day.

“That’s why I wrote this book…I’m passionate about teaching Spanish and want my students to get the most out of it,” she said. “I think with any subject, if the teacher is excited about it, the students will be too.”

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