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View From Vis: Meet Spanish Teacher Señora De La Torre
Señora De La Torre is the Lower and Middle School Spanish teacher at Vis. Let’s get to know her a little better!
Señora De La Torre has a B.A. with Honors in Business Administration and a Master's Degree in Applied Linguistics: Teaching Spanish to Speakers of Other Languages. She has been teaching Spanish since 2004 at the college level and in K-8 schools.
1. How long have you been teaching Spanish here at Vis?
I have been teaching at Visitation for four years. I love what I do. I am aware that teaching children during their formative years is a big responsibility. I believe in teaching not for school, but for life!
2. What are some highlights of Visitation’s Spanish program?
In my classes I teach not just vocabulary, but also different traditions as well as awareness of other cultures. I love to teach my native language using dynamic activities. I combine movement, music and art, as well as games and songs, to facilitate learning. I also try to bring the real world to the classroom. Once a quarter, I connect Visitation students to students in Mexico. We use Skype to make the connection, and students prepare different questions that they can ask in the target language.
3. What do you think sets Vis apart from other schools?
In the Lower School, the students are exposed to three different languages. Then, in the Middle school, they get to choose one of those three languages to continue studying. By being exposed in the Lower School, the students are better able to choose the language they want to study. This makes them more interested and engaged in the learning. At the end of the school year, we created a video that included the French and Chinese students in the songs and dances we learned during the school year. The collaboration was so much fun!
Another distinction is that Visitation is all-girls from 6th to 12th grades. I see the girls really able to focus on their learning and feel comfortable taking guesses and risks speaking in the target language.
4. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
It is never boring to be working with a wide range of ages. I teach Montessori through 8th grade, and I love the combination of getting to teach both Lower and Middle School students. I am very fortunate; I enjoy teaching so much that I don't see it as a job! Visitation students are very respectful and well behaved, which makes my job much easier.
5. Lightning Round! What is your favorite…
Activity to do in your spare time?
My favorite activity is to spend time with family and friends. I love to travel to Mexico during Christmas and get that break from the winter. I also recently finished my Masters Degree in Linguistics Applied to Teaching Spanish as a Second Language, and it was very interesting to put the theory into practice.
Anything with chocolate
Season of the year?
My favorite season is the fall. I love the colors and the weather. I also enjoy the spring a lot, seeing everything come to life again.
My favorite Vis memory is ice fishing on Rogers Lake with the fifth graders. I have done this with them every year for the last four years. We go over some vocabulary and try to use it while having the experience.