Curriculum Specialist & Co-Founder
About Maria Silva
Maria Silva (Maestra Maria) is a master teacher that has a relentless passion for teaching Spanish as a second language that comes from life experiences, a stellar education, and a 40-year teaching career.
Maestra Maria was born in Healdsburg, California. When she was five years old her family moved to Nieves, Zacatecas, Mexico, a small town where her entire neighborhood consisted of family and close friends. There she had the privilege of experiencing Mexican culture and the language at its best. All year round there were traditional celebrations, family gatherings and birthday parties to attend, which served as happy memories of life as a child living in Mexico.
The family home in Mexico was a 400-year-old adobe hacienda. Her family raised farm animals such as chickens, pigs, cows, goats, and sheep. There was no electricity in town yet, so there was no TV, radio, or telephone. It was a simple life where creative play was the norm of every child. Maria would spend hours playing traditional games such as the yo-yo, marbles (las canicas), el balero (the top), and la loteria (Mexican bingo). She and her family also played group games such as hide and seek, soccer, basketball, and baseball. At night, all the kids in the neighborhood would gather by the stairs in front of her house to tell stories of lost Spaniard treasures, ghost stories, legends such as “la llorona” (The Weeping Woman), as well as jokes and riddles.
At the age of 12 years old her family moved back to Healdsburg, CA, an experience that was very difficult. She missed her family and friends and the life she had in Mexico, but it wasn’t long before she adjusted and embarked on a new chapter of her life.
After she graduated from Healdsburg High School she worked as a Bilingual Instructional Assistant for eight years. Soon after she started college, where she worked as a student teacher for California Mini-Corps for five years. This was a bilingual teachers preparation program which allowed her the opportunity to work with all grade levels while she was a student.
At the Santa Rosa Junior College, she completed her early childhood education course work before transferring to Sonoma State University, where she received her BA in Mexican American Studies/Liberal Arts. Soon after, she completed her bilingual education course work and received her BCLAD (Bilingual, Cross-cultural, Language and Academic Development). This was a proud moment for her family, since she was the first member in her family to graduate from college.
Maestra Maria’s inspiration comes from a commitment to motivating young children in reaching their academic potential while learning the Spanish language. She loves to teach children and see them light up as they learn new concepts and skills. She is dedicated to not only teach them the core knowledge and skills necessary for success in school but instilling in them the ability to realize how their actions and thoughts impact their lives and the world around them.
“It is truly a privilege having the opportunity to inspire children to become our future leaders in our diverse global community.” Maria Silva