By Marcos Perales | Staff Writer |
After discovering what she really wanted to do at the end of her college career, and with a desire to share her love for the Spanish language, Spanish teacher Lisa Alanis has put 14 years of teaching Spanish here at Roosevelt. She began her teaching career in Iowa right after college, and she taught Spanish there for three years before coming here.
When teaching a foreign language, Alanis says there is more to it than the language itself.
“As a foreign language teacher, I think it’s important for my students to learn about the Hispanic culture,” Alanis said. “There is a lot of racism in our country and I think the more people know about the culture and traditions, the less they are to be afraid of other people that are different.”
Every teacher has their own style with teaching their subject. Alanis tries to use different techniques to keep her students’ attention.
“I try to get the students engaged as much as possible with a variety of different activities like hands on stuff,” Alanis said. “I like to use technology because the kids like it and I try to make it creative and fun because if they’re having fun then I’m having fun and the day is good.”
Her students seem to notice her efforts.
“Ms. Alanis is one of the most amazing teachers I’ve ever had. I don’t speak Spanish as a first language, taking her AP Spanish class was a challenge, but she helped me through it and helped me pass the AP exam at the end,” senior Lina Al-Shakarchi said.
Alanis will continue to teach as long as she possibly can.
“Well I’m getting old, so I’d say I’m going to teach about another ten years, until retirement,” Alanis said, “I’ve never wanted to teach anything else.”
Alanis grew up in Iowa and attended college in the state. Iowa is one of the least diverse states in the country. The Hispanic community makes up less than 5 percent of the population, but that has almost doubled since the year 2000 ( according to http://worldpopulationreview.com/states/iowa-population/ ) . At first, Alanis didn’t know what to do with her Spanish major, but then she decided to start teaching the language to her students in Iowa.
“In Iowa, there aren’t a lot of Spanish speakers there, so that’s how I fell into the teaching profession; I couldn’t work in translation or interpretation, which was my original plan,” Alanis said.
Alanis is doing what she loves, and she encourages others to do the same.
“I think it’s important to love your job because whatever you choose to do you have to really love it,” Alanis said,.“You’re going to be doing it a lot of years, everyday, and all day long, so yeah choose something you’re really passionate about.”