From college, back to high school: Comentarios de una maestra de español

Emily McClintock ’14, Spanish Language Teacher

Major: Spanish, Education Minor with Teacher Licensure

Employer: World Language Department, Arlington Catholic High School, Massachusetts

As a Spanish major with a minor in Education with Teacher Licensure, my path was set. I graduated knowing that I wanted and was going to be a Spanish teacher. Mount Holyoke College, specifically the Spanish, Latina/o, and Latin American Studies Department, prepared me well because, luckily for me, I found a great job only two months after graduation.

Currently, I teach Spanish at Arlington Catholic High School in Arlington, Massachusetts, and I love it! Obviously, my Spanish degree has directly helped me to achieve my professional goals. However, it’s the Spanish classes I took while still a student at MHC that have impacted my work and improved my craft.

During my last two years with the Spanish, Latina/o, and Latin American Studies Department, I took quite a few Latin American Studies courses, in addition to the Spanish “topic” courses that I’d been taking previously. These classes really opened my eyes to the different language, traditions, culture, and situations that are present within the Americas versus those that are linked with Spain and the Castilians.

At my school, the textbook that we use, Avancemos, often focuses on the Latin American countries, and because of the courses I took, I’m able to speak about what I learned and supplement the otherwise brief introductions, readings, etc. Not only that, but I also frequently reuse assignments, project ideas, and readings taken from my Mount Holyoke Spanish classes and incorporate them into my lessons. Although my students may not realize it, while they’re reading poems by Alfonsina Storni or short stories by Julio Cortázar, they’re receiving a Mount Holyoke College education.

My four years as a Mount Holyoke student were the best four years I could have imagined and one of the best experiences I have had. I look back on my time at the college very fondly, but it is this department that I owe many thanks. I would not be where I am nor would I be as effective a teacher as I am without the Spanish, Latina/o, and Latin American Studies Department, it’s professors, and it’s inspiring courses. So, I thank you, my students thank you, and Arlington Catholic High School thanks you.