Thank You for Sharing Your Inspiring Story - Resources for your Spanish Classroom
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we asked all Spanish teachers to share their story and tell us about their motivation to become a teacher. We were thrilled to read all the amazing stories we received. Thank you all for participating, and keep inspiring us!
Meet the winning teachers:
My decision to become a Spanish teacher was made late in my college years. As the daughter of a first generation college graduate, my mother always pushed me and my brother's to become educated and further our education. Her passion for education despite her upbringing, always resonated with me. I knew, being from Mexico, that education was hard to come by for many. She only reached a 5th grade level of education. It wasn't until I really began to understand her value and passion for education for myself and my siblings, that I began to think about teaching Spanish.
Spanish was my first language as my mother had to work all day and I was raised by my abuelita, who spoke no English. I remember the excitement as my first day of school approached. I was placed into the bilingual program due to my language issues. I quickly exited the program as my English blossomed.
It wasn't until college when my Upper level Spanish class got into a discussion about immigration and children with language issues, that I realized they were talking about me and my childhood. It was then that I realized, I wanted to teach Spanish to as many as I could. Why not teach my first language? Maybe more people would become interested in being bilingual as our country's Hispanic communities are becoming more and more prominent. My passion for the Spanish language has only grown more every year as I also continue to share my love of education and the importance of being bilingual with my students. Their love and curiosity of the Spanish language feeds my passion more and I hope this shows in my teaching. Thank you for the wonderful ideas on your website, you make my job a bit easier at times when I need new and shaving ideas!
The year was 1987 and I had just arrived to Garfield, NJ from Argentina. Not speaking English was a huge worry for me at the age of 11, the culture shock followed shortly after. My parents decided that a catholic school education would be the best fit. What they didn't know was that there were no Bilingual Ed or ELL classes available. We were lucky tho, a priest by the name of Father DePeri took us under his wing and was determined to help us learn English. I was amazed on how much Father DePeri knew, he was fluent in 7 languages. He made learning English fun, even though it was an after school commitment 3-5 days a week.
By the end of that school year my brother and I placed in the school spelling bee with my brother taking 2nd place! All thanks to an amazing man who introduced us to our foreign language which was English. I knew then at the age of 12 that I wanted to teach others my language, Spanish. I loved listening to Father DePeri telling us a little about different cultures and different languages that he knew. That's what I wanted to share one day with my own students. I have been teaching Spanish for 15 years. The day I received my teaching license in the mail I made a copy of it and wrote a letter to the man who sparked the love of teaching in me. Teaching Spanish is my true passion.
I fell in love with Spanish as a junior high student. I was taking Latin and my dad's second job was working at a MLB stadium. I went to games occasionally and had a huge crush on a Dominican pitcher. I met him after a game and I was determined to marry him. I was devastated to find out he was married and his wife had just given birth to their first child. Despite my heartbreak, I studied Spanish on my own by checking out Berlitz books from the library and watching a Spanish course from a community college in south Florida.
In graduate school, I took a whole language course that reminded me of a Spanish phonetics course (which I loved) that I took for my undergraduate Spanish minor. At that point, I changed from elementary education to Spanish education. I earned my M. Ed and my Spanish teaching certification. This is my eighteenth year in education and I haven't looked back.
I had the opportunity to come full circle and travel to the Dominican Republic, too. A colleague of mine is a baseball fan and met my junior high crush, the Dominican pitcher, at an "old timers' game." She told him my story and he autographed a photo of himself pitching from the era when I was his biggest fan, personally wishing me a happy birthday. I screamed like a school girl! I love teaching Spanish!
Every year, Americans around the nation get together to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15th through October 15th. The contributions Hispanic Americans have made to the United States are endless and inspiring, and they have had a profound and positive impact on our county.
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