Meet Dr. Erika Stevens
Associate Professor of Spanish and Lead Faculty of Foreign Languages at Walters State Community College, Morristown, TN.
Level: Community College
I teach: Spanish and Humanities
Favorite Part of being an ACTFL Member:
My favorite parts of being an ACTFL member are the connections and friends that I have made from across the nation, the opportunity to serve and give back to the world language teaching community, and the new ideas/trainings/collaborations that come from being an active member of ACTFL. I originally joined ACTFL to become a part of an organization that could help me grow and improve as a Spanish instructor while making connections from around the country.
Favorite Part of Career:
My favorite part of my career is sharing in the joy with my students when they achieve a goal or when the language “clicks”. Personally, the most memorable moment of my career so far has been the successful creation of a new Spanish Certificate program at WSCC, the first academic certificate in the community college system of Tennessee, and the awards and recognition that I have received from my state organization, TWLTA, and from AATSP for my teaching and efforts in advancing world language education at my institution and beyond. (awarded the 2022 TWLTA Jacqueline Elliot Award for outstanding service to world language education in higher education and the 2023 AATSP Teacher of the Year – Community College level – to be awarded at the 2023 AATSP Conference in June in Salamanca, Spain) The Spanish Certificate has two tracks, one for Spanish majors and one for LSP, and the classes are available in a variety of formats to accommodate student needs. As an instructional designer with a focus on communicative online world language courses, I am constantly looking for ways to improve the communicative aspects of my online Spanish courses which is a goal of mine as I continue to create LSP courses to meet the needs of my Spanish Certificate students.
One thing I Recently Learned:
One thing I learned recently is tied to ChatGPT. Like many others, I was only focused on how students might be able to use this to cheat and how I could create assessments to encourage original work. At our recent CC SIG Coffee Talk, I learned that it can also be used by instructors to help us create assignments and rubrics which changed my thinking about how it can be used.
In my 30+ years of teaching, I have taught K-16 Spanish in homeschool (K-12), private (6-16), and public (9-16) school settings! Personally, my husband and I are looking forward to the birth of our first grandchild this summer!