One of the most rewarding pleasures of teaching at WPI is the diversity of cultures you find in and around campus. So, besides teaching Spanish, I make my goal to broaden my students’ knowledge of Hispanic countries and to promote cultural understanding inside and outside the classroom. I teach the importance of understanding different lifestyles and ways of expression in other parts of the world-differences that we can find in each of the Hispanic countries. In order to accomplish this, I include role-plays, team work, films, presentations and group activities that combine oral and written practice, so that I can cover different interests and learning styles.
My courses include more than grammar, vocabulary, essays, speaking, and writing. I also teach culture and history to my students so they can understand better the society they live in. I introduce larger themes and relate them to contemporary culture. This is something of particular importance when the topic is new or foreign to the students. I believe I can make a difference in promoting cultural understanding, exposing my students to cultural information that they might not have had experienced personally. This is when the development of new attitudes helps them understand themselves better, while, at the same time, they get a better understanding of other cultures.
Our students are unique, and I believe that challenging them to learn is the best way to encourage them to reach their maximum potential. Once they leave college, they have to face the real world, where they’ll have a better chance of success if they strive to do their best in every aspect of their lives. I always try to foster in the classroom a learning environment where students can go out into the world with the curiosity to keep learning, the knowledge to confront their challenges, and the wisdom to understand their fellow human beings. They all need to recognize that we are living in a world that present global challenges, and that windows must be opened and understanding should be fostered.