Spanish Nuts and Bolts started as a way to reach out to parents of students at Chugiak Elementary School who wanted to learn Spanish.
Sra. Mikal Sparkman was a Spanish Immersion teacher from 2003-2019, and prior to that a bilingual teacher for the Fort Worth Independent School District in Texas beginning in 1995, and Head Start in 1991. She worked as a dual-language/multi-age teacher, a mentor teacher to new teachers, host teacher for student teachers, and helped to develop standards and reporting tools for all of the language immersion programs with the Anchorage School District World Languages Department. She provided ESL professional development for teachers in Texas, presented at the National Conference of Bilingual Educators, and created and ran a website for Bilingual teachers way back in the 1990's connecting Speech and Language professors at the Universidad Nacional Pedagógica in Mexico City with bilingual schools in Thailand, Australia, and the United States.
In 2019, she left Anchorage School District and began working with students in her home studio. Once Covid hit she was fortunate enough to have already begun to teach using Zoom, so many of her former students came to her for homeschool instruction that way. Since then, Spanish Nuts and Bolts has been growing. Now, students from all over Alaska attend classes online here, and we have even taught students from Hawaii, Idaho, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and other states.
Just recently, in May of 2023, we began to hire experienced Native Spanish-speaking language teachers to work with students and teach many different levels of interactive Spanish classes. Our classes are so unique that parents have had difficulty finding anything quite like them!
Even university students do not get the live, synchronous language practice that we provide here at Spanish Nuts and Bolts!
These days, Señora Sparkman is fortunate to get to spend more time with the youngest of her three children, Ben, as he studies homeschool curriculum and constantly perfects his drumming skills. Her eldest, Zach, is bilingual with a business degree and a fabulous job in L.A. using his Spanish in the media world. Her lovely daughter, Abi (also bilingual since toddlerhood), is a music teacher, a professional musician touring with her band (SunDog), and uses her marketing degree to do nonprofit work with youth in Anchorage. Her husband, Tony, still teaches full-time for ASD, and together they will celebrate their 34 year anniversary.
When she Is not reading or studying, Señora Sparkman deeply enjoys listening to creepy true crime podcasts, cooking, spending time with her family and pets, washing hundreds of dishes each week, tripping over dog toys, and using her many years of experience to share her love of Spanish language and culture with others. This website and this business is the best way to gather a community of inspired language learners and share our resources with anyone who might need ideas. Thanks for visiting! We are SO happy you found us!
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Student advocacy is my passion and 28 years in the classroom has presented all kinds of situations and opportunities to problem-solve. Let me help!