Sharon Reiter

We welcome Sharon to our group:

My name is Sharon Reiter and I signed onto this community this August (2012). I am just returning to the classroom after six years of retirement.  I teach Spanish 1 and 2 to high school juniors and seniors in rural West Tennessee.   I was born in Oakland, California, and grew up in the Bay Area, where I took 3 years of high school French, which I LOVED!  Languages and diverse cultures have always been my first love and even in my youth I was grateful to be living in the melting pot of northern California.  When I graduated from high school, it was only due to finances that I did not pursue a college degree in language.

Fast forward to age 45 and I am living in Tennessee when I entered college and elected to pursue Spanish.  (Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks!)  I felt I could readily use the language as I witnessed here an influx of Spanish speakers.  It was a rocky beginning because my teacher at the community college was really an English teacher with a Spanish minor who was persuaded to teach Spanish.  (That scenario is a common occurrence here.)   It was by sheer determination that I advanced through the courses after I transferred to a four-year institution.  It took me six years to achieve some semi-ease with the language which my best students of TPRS demonstrate in one semester of exposure.  THAT alone has convinced me of the power of this method!

At age 50 I stepped into the professional world as a teacher of Spanish, teaching in the only way I knew; that is, as I had been taught.  Believe me, even I WAS BORED!  Then around 1995-96 I received a mailing about a Blaine Ray workshop in Dallas, Texas.  Everything changed; in spite of my being a lousy TPRS teacher, teaching Spanish became fun!  What is more, I found all the repetitions necessary for the students only helped to improve my Spanish.  All the credit to my enduring that first lonely year must be given to Shirley Ogle who had assisted at the Blaine Ray workshop.  She PATIENTLY and MAGNIFICENTLY responded to my almost daily email’s!

From the very beginning however, I have had the luxury of being THE language department.  In rural West Tennessee there are no exit tests or district markers.   The administration does not care that I do not use a textbook; they are grateful to have a certified, so called “highly qualified” teacher of a foreign language in their system (that means I have a piece of paper that says “degree”).  As I have indicated, FL teachers are in very short supply in this area.  After I retired six years ago, I spent the following two and a half years traveling back and forth to the high desert country of Nuevo Leon, Mexico.  There I connected with a Franciscan mission, teaching one-on-one illiterate adults and children to read.

I had no intention of returning to the classroom; in fact in the spring of 2011 I was asked by a local district superintendent whose Spanish teacher was about to retire, if I would consider teaching again; my negative reply was adamant.  Then over the following months several events occurred which I now view as God’s way of grooming me for what was to come.  This past July I received an urgent phone call from another local school district.  Their Spanish teacher was terminally ill, would I consider helping them out?  This time, my reply was that I would be willing to TALK about it.  So HERE I am, not a full-time teacher, but with my OCD teacher-personality, I might as well be!   But again, I have definite advantages.  As a retired teacher, on a special State contract, something about the district not being able to locate a qualified teacher, I do not have to be concerned with classroom observations, extra teacher duties, nor most in-service days.  What is more, I am impressed with the administration at this school.  I just need to get over my OCD and this perpetual gnawing to be the best that I can be, which are what brought me to this community.



8 thoughts on “Sharon Reiter”

  1. Welcome Sharon!!! and it’s funny — I was checking out the files on the moreTPRS site today and found a BUNCH from you, from 2004. What especially intrigued me was one entitled something about “long leave of absence sub plans.” I am reporting to jury duty a week from Tuesday! But, alas, the files cannot be read 🙁 I was going to post an “all-call” to you on the moreTPRS site later, but came here to Ben’s blog and there you were!!!! WOW…..welcome back!

    ~~MB (from Maine) aka Mary Beth

  2. Thank you, Karen and Mary Beth!

    Mary Beth, I shall email to Ben what I was able to find in my ancient files. They are projects, which any sub could carry out. If I find another at school, where I have some 5-1/4 disks, I’ll pass that along too.

    However, these are for Spanish, so I hope that is what you teach. Each includes a rubric, which I hope is helpful to you. They were made in Word Perfect; I resaved them in Microsoft Word; and they will be sent via my Mac. So, here’s hoping it makes sense when it gets to you!

  3. Hi Sharon, so nice to meet you. What an interesting life you have led! That’s one the many things I love about all of you on this PLC – always an inspiration.

    1. Brigitte – I have been thinking about you!!! How are you doing? You’re on the South Shore, aren’t you? Do you have power yet? (I am originally from Roslyn, and have seen pics of the Meadowbrook and Robert Moses – Ocean Pkwy is gone, huh?)

  4. Hi mb, I teach on the South Shore (in Massapequa) but live kind of in the middl,e in Smithtown. We were so lucky, only lost power for three days and quite a bit of wind damage but nothing like the flooding they experienced on the South Shore. We have a crisis meeting in our district tomorrow and they are hoping to resume classes again on Tuesday (giving the kids some semblance of a routine again). Fire Island will never be the same and Long Beach is still digging out from the sand. Lindenhurst was very badly destroyed also. I haven’t been driving around much since I need to conserve gas to get to school but I’m afraid of what I’m going to see tomorrow.
    Is your family still in Roslyn? I know that quite a few communities on the North Shore are still without power.

  5. My family is not in Roslyn any longer. I have a friend in Massapequa who had to go to her 2nd floor with hubby, 2 sons and dog — lost everything below the 2nd floor! So, I am sure you are going to have quite a job ahead of you giving your students some semblance of normalcy! GOOD LUCK to you all! email me off list – , so we can talk further without filling up the blog! Glad to hear you’re OK!!! (My best friend, in Hicksville, NEVER lost power!!!)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Search

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe to Our Mailing List

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Related Posts

CI and the Research (cont.)

Admins don’t actually read the research. They don’t have time. If or when they do read it, they do not really grasp it. How could

Research Question

I got a question: “Hi Ben, I am preparing some documents that support CI teaching to show my administrators. I looked through the blog and

We Have the Research

A teacher contacted me awhile back. She had been attacked about using CI from a team leader. I told her to get some research from

The Research

We don’t need any more research. In academia that would be a frivolous comment, but as a classroom teacher in languages I support it. Yes,



Subscribe to be a patron and get additional posts by Ben, along with live-streams, and monthly patron meetings!

Also each month, you will get a special coupon code to save 20% on any product once a month.

  • 20% coupon to anything in the store once a month
  • Access to monthly meetings with Ben
  • Access to exclusive Patreon posts by Ben
  • Access to livestreams by Ben