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Antonio: Spanish Teacher and Proficiency Test Rater

Educators are sharing the importance of language teaching!

Portrait of Antonio with the text "My favorite word or expression in another language is 'el diablo sabe mas por viejo que por diablo'"
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Meet Antonio—a Spanish teacher at Western Albemarle High School in Virginia.

Despite our differences, we humans have a lot in common.

What first inspired you to become a language educator? What motivates you today?

I first got inspired by my fifth-grade teacher. He was demanding but caring. Despite the many challenges we face in education, I still believe that I can positively impact my students.

What is the best or most fulfilling part of teaching language and culture?

When I see my students making connections and understanding that through a second language one can learn about many cultures, traditions, and ways of life: That despite our differences, we humans have a lot in common. It is also very fulfilling to see my students achieving proficiency, including cultural proficiency.

What role have languages played in your life outside of the classroom?

I have been able to volunteer in different capacities for several non-profit organizations and help members of my community. In years past, I volunteered for a couple of food banks in the area. For the last four years, I have been a volunteer for Translators without Borders.

What advice or encouragement would you like to share with aspiring or early-career language educators?

Be patient with yourself, especially during the first couple of years. It will take some time to develop your craft. Stay current with the profession. Try to go to conferences—even take a risk and present, it is fun!

Create new materials for your students. I know it is time consuming, but I have found it very stimulating.

Take your time and see what is best for you: private or public school.

Have you got a favorite word or expression in another language? What is it, what does it mean, and why did you choose it?

"El diablo sabe más por viejo que por diablo" means that the devil knows more because he's old than because he's the devil. Similar to 'with age comes wisdom.'


Complete this thought: Teaching a language means...

...teaching about the many cultures that share it.

Check out our Become an Educator and Connect with Spanish pages—or explore another language of your choosing—for information about university programs, scholarship opportunities, testimonials, and more!

Then tell us how you put your language skills to work @LangConnectsFdn on social media.

Know an amazing language educator who we should feature next? Refer them to us for consideration in an upcoming Educator Profile.