She made us never want to miss a single Spanish lesson
“Good teachers know that sometimes you just have to stop and be silly for a few minutes.”
If ever there was a teacher who could make a language class really interesting and a ton of fun, then it would have to be Ms. Juanita, our Spanish teacher. From teaching us through singing songs in Spanish, to making us try various other Spanish activities, our classes were a potpourri of learning and entertainment. Name any part of the Spanish culture – we had covered it all. Chantaje, Ricky Martin, Spanish dances, Spanish cuisines – Senora Juanita had something interesting planned for every day. She made us never want to miss a single Spanish lesson. To say that her ways were unconventional is to say the least.
From drawing portraits to designing placards with our Spanish name (I went by the name Isabella Iglesias Marquez), Senora Juanita made us forget that we were in a classroom in India and not Spain. She made us talk about our passions, our professions and made us design cards. We wrote letters in Spanish, anonymously and every time one answered correctly, they were rewarded in class in some way or the other. She knew all of us by our Spanish names. During those few hours of the classes, we were everything, from professional eye rollers to French fry enthusiasts, and ma’am truly brought out the kid in all of us. To break barriers and expand our horizons further, she made sure that everyone sat with everyone and made us work in partners. While teamwork can get strenuous at times, nothing teaches one about life more than it does. Through all these ups and downs, we learnt not only a new language but also about a whole new culture.
Today, I can finally say with confidence that if I get lost in a Spanish speaking country, I can find my way back, along with some food and friends. All thanks to the wonderful teacher who gave me my first ever Spanish class experience, Miss Juanita! This has been a very fulfilling part of my journey as a freshman in this college. I have become more eager to learn more about this language and culture. So, when I actually spot any Spaniard, I make an effort to go and speak to them, get to know them and learn about the culture; the culture that gave us the paella, the flamenco and, of course, Despacito!
Audita Bhattacharya (Batch 2020)
Photo:Aparna Anandan (Batch 2020)