About Señora Kirkland
Señora Kirkland (Dawn Ellen Kirkland) is the Longfellow Elementary Spanish teacher for the 4th and 5th grades.
Before coming to Longfellow, Señora Kirkland taught Spanish at King Middle School. Before teaching at King Middle School, she was the Program Director for a study abroad semester program for American high school seniors and gap year students where she developed an academic semester program in Ecuador that included study of the Spanish language and Ecuadorian culture. Prior to this position, she was an outdoor educator for over a decade. As an outdoor educator, Señora Kirkland was primarily an Instructor with Outward Bound and led hundreds of student groups across the globe in leadership education through outdoor adventures such as mountaineering, backpacking, rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking, and ropes courses.
Señora Kirkland has traveled, worked, and lived in many countries around the world, focusing much of her time in Spanish-speaking countries. She specialized and honed her Spanish language studies in Guatemala and Ecuador where she spent extensive time studying at Spanish language schools and living with local families. Señora Kirkland has traveled extensively throughout Central and South America, and she spent 6 years living on and off in Ecuador where she built a little house in a small, surfing village along the coast. She feels a deep connection to Latin America and it's beautiful and varied Spanish-speaking cultures. Señora Kirkland has also spent some time exploring the beauty and culture of Spain where she also enjoyed studying a little Flamenco and it's rich history.
Señora Kirkland holds a Masters in Experiential Education and supports the methodology of educating students by leading them through first-hand experiences. She brings this background of teaching into her Spanish classroom where students use their whole bodies and minds to actively learn a new language.
Señora Kirkland has lived in Maine for 15 years now and lives in South Portland with her husband and 10-year-old daughter.