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Bates College (Spanish)
I believe that fostering a love of learning and the ability to ask the right questions is the best way to learn outside of the classroom. Much of schooling today is focused on exam performance, and I believe that the best way to prepare for this while also mastering the subject at hand is to truly understand the material, rather than memorizing it. This was the most important for me while studying in high school and college. I attended Bates College and was a Spanish Major, with a Philosophy Minor. I also completed all of the classes required for Pre-med (Biology, chemistry, physics, biochemistry, organic chemistry etc.). Balancing all of these different topics took a lot of concentration and coordination, but it also made my perspective of education more interdisciplinary.
As a Fulbright Teaching Assistant at a bilingual secondary school in Madrid, I helped students (aged 11-15) improve their English ability while studying other coursework, such as Geography, Citizenship, Biology, or Natural Sciences. Another core part of my responsibility included teaching Global Classrooms, a class that is similar to Model United Nations in the United States. Our topic was debt reform, loan forgiveness and conditionality in relation to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and developing countries. Attempting to energize fourteen and fifteen-year-old students about the IMF was not the easiest task. However, I made sure we did not simply study terms such as GDP-debt ratio, bankruptcy, and trade deficits. Instead, I related the topics of the IMF to subjects including poverty, human rights, and community development, topics I knew my students were more interested in. This spanned the gap between more abstract concepts and issues that my students were passionate about. My most successful classes were the classes when I barely spoke, only observing incredibly advanced dialogue and exchange of ideas. As a teacher, seeing my students master the topics we were studying, while also fortifying their self confidence and communication skills, reinforced the importance of quality education as a key to success for our youth.
My time in Peru (four months), Spain (9 months) and extensive study of the Spanish language (10 years) has made my Spanish ability and understanding of the language very strong.
I attended a very writing intensive College which included writing in diverse courses ranging from anthropology to biology to sociology and African American literature. I have many different writing styles according to the goal at hand. I have also written two successful grants (A Davis projects for peace grant and a Fulbright Grant).
I believe that my past year teaching in Spain made me able to teach different subject within a close time frame and be able to make them fun and relatable for adults and kids. I taught English, Citizenship, Global Classrooms, Geography and History, and Natural Sciences.
Working with young kids is one of my best strengths, because I know how critical it is to foster a love for education at a young age to build a foundation of personal and professional success going forward. I also think that, as indicated before, my experience of teaching diverse subjects in Spain during my Fulbright Fellowship made me a much more versatile teacher.
History is one of my favorite topics, and social studies is extremely important! I have a unique way of making studying social studies fun by including videos and other methods to look at historical events. One such example is TED-ed videos.
In conclusion, I would encourage students to reach out to me because of the many different opportunities I have had to enhance my tutoring abilities in diverse settings. I also have developed an appreciation of how closely the real world relates to what we learn in the classroom. I do not merely try to have my students memorize facts, but rather enjoy what they are learning and understand it. This not only makes the process more fun, but also keeps the information in our minds for longer. I would hope that my students do not think of our meetings as studying, but rather exploring different stories and concepts together. I believe that fostering a love of learning and the ability to ask the right questions is the best way to learn outside of the classroom. Much of schooling today is focused on exam performance, and I believe that the best way to prepare for this while also mastering the subject at hand is to truly understand the material, rather than memorizing
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