Special Hispanic Heritage Month Member Spotlight: Meet Carmen Reyes
FLES Spanish Teacher at Daniels Run ES in Fairfax, VA
Level: Elementary and Middle School
I teach: Spanish
What significance does your cultural identity hold for you?
My Peruvian cultural identity holds immense significance for me, even as I work and live in the United States. It's a core part of who I am and has shaped my values, perspectives, and approach to education. Peruvian culture is deeply rooted in history, traditions, and a strong sense of community. It emphasizes family bonds, respect for elders, and a deep appreciation for our rich cultural heritage. In my teaching, I often incorporate cultural elements to enrich the learning experience for my students. I believe that exposing them to diverse perspectives fosters understanding and tolerance. Additionally, my Peruvian cultural identity motivates me to be an advocate for cultural diversity and inclusion within the educational system. I strive to create an inclusive environment where students from various cultural backgrounds feel welcomed and respected.
How does it play into your role as a WL teacher?
My Peruvian cultural identity provides a unique perspective that I bring into the classroom, enriching the learning experience for my students. In teaching the Spanish language, I draw upon my personal experiences and understanding of Hispanic customs, traditions, and language nuances. This helps me present the language in a more authentic and culturally relevant way, allowing me to foster cultural awareness and appreciation among my students.
I believe that language and culture are inseparable, and by understanding the cultural context in which a language is spoken, students can become more proficient and respectful communicators. Moreover, I strive to create a classroom environment that is inclusive and representative of the multicultural world we live in. Ultimately, my Peruvian cultural identity empowers me to inspire students to not only learn the Spanish language but also appreciate the beauty of the rich Hispanic culture, history, and traditions.
Tell us something interesting that others wouldn’t know about you.
I’m a first-generation graduate student in my family, who recently got a master’s degree in the Teaching and Learning of the Spanish Language and its Culture from the University of Granada.
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