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Susan Stanford is a retired educator with 29 years in the public classroom. She attributes her teaching success to her passion for the Spanish Language and to her off the wall educational colleague, Cherryl. In 1999 they formed the Chihuahua Bat and as language consultants they presented workshops and published materials for language teachers throughout the state of Texas. Their most popular publication is Pigs Can Fly When You Create Language with a Chihuahua Bat. Living in country inspired Susan to develop authentic language activities and nurtured her childish enthusiasm for the Mexican culture. In 2005 Susan received the honor of Teacher of the Year for her campus, Reagan High School, The North East Independent School District, and Region 20. In 2006 she was the recipient of the Alamo Heights Rotary VIP in Education, the KENS ExCEL Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Walmart Teacher of the Year. Susan grew up in Dallas, Texas where she met her husband, Mike. They have three children and three grandchildren. She loves spending time with her family and traveling. No longer in the classroom, her passion now is writing about her teaching career and her journey as a Chihuahua Bat. She hopes to inspire educators, still standing in the classroom, to think outside of the box, rock the boat every now and then, and ask themselves: “What would a Chihuahua Bat do?”
Elizabeth Jones, a newly hired Spanish teacher at North Gate High School, finds herself standing in the middle of a cinder block warehouse at her new campus. Formerly an Industrial Arts room with old equipment stored against the walls and rusty nuts and bolts scattered across the floor, Elizabeth is horrified to find out that this is her new classroom. She is even more stunned to find out that she will be sharing this space with Theater Arts classes and a clinic without a ceiling. Encountering falling flats, puking students, noisy theater rehearsals, and without the basic classroom set up like a board and desks, Elizabeth finds herself ready to quit! Jean Smith, her comical and uncensored department chair, reassures Elizabeth that together, with the help of their rowdy colleagues, they can tackle this looming obstacle. Faced with the decision to quit or step up, she decides to embrace this challenge and throw away traditional teaching methods and create a new interactive approach to teaching a language. Join Elizabeth and Jean as they rock the boat, challenge their administrators, and become the Chihuahua Bats.