Educator (Spanish Teacher)
I grew up in Riverside, California as one of four kids (four generations of my family are buried there). My parents had lived in both Japan and Germany before I was born, so I grew up with a love of languages and travel. I graduated from UCLA with a BA in Spanish and Linguistics which led me into a career in education. I have enjoyed working with secondary school students in 3 states (California, Washington and Virginia) and am currently completing my 25th year as a Spanish teacher at Carlsbad High School. Before settling in the San Diego area, I lived in Oslo, Norway for 6 years while my husband worked at the US embassy, so I had the opportunity to do and see a lot of amazing things during that time, in addition to meeting some very notable people, such as King Harald, First Lady Hillary Clinton, Former President and First Lady Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter and then Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland.
I got my teacher's credential from UC Riverside and several years later got my Master's degree in Spanish from UC Santa Barbara. I have really enjoyed visiting various Spanish-speaking countries over the years (Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentina, Uruguay and Peru) in an effort to bring the richness of those cultures into the classroom through my personal experience. Prior to graduating from UCLA, I also spent one summer in Guadalajara, living with a Mexican family and attending a summer school session at the University of Guadalajara. This experience was pivotal in developing my ability to really speak and understand the language.
In addition to living in Oslo and teaching extracurricular ESL classes to children at the French Lycee, I have traveled extensively throughout Scandinavia, the Baltic region and most of Western Europe. Since returning to the States 25 years ago, I have also been lucky enough to travel to a few fascinating countries in Asia such as Azerbaijan, Thailand, Japan, China and Cambodia. I also really enjoyed visiting Egypt and Morocco, and was especially interested in learning how much Andalusian influence there was in the architecture and culture of the latter country. In my opinion, travel and reading, my two favorite pastimes, offer us unparalleled opportunities to expand our knowledge and experience of the world. In turn, these experiences enrich us immeasurably and in ways that are priceless.
February 21, 2023
For Kim Wakefield, teaching Spanish has always been much more than simply teaching a language. It’s teaching another culture in a very open and passionate way.