For this month’s installment of Getting to Know Your Teachers, Señora Esteves was interviewed as the February teacher! Señora Esteves teaches Spanish 1, Spanish 2, and Spanish 4 Honors classes and is the co-advisor of the Spanish Honor Society. She was chosen based on a Google form at the bottom of the last installment where students vote on who should be the next teacher; everyone, including teachers, are encouraged to answer the form at the bottom of this article. The R-Hi would like to thank Señora Esteves for participating and we hope she had a wonderful birthday this month!
Q: Out of all the classes and clubs you guide, which one is your favorite?
A: My favorite class that I teach is probably 4 Honors because I feel like we have a lot more freedom with what we get to cover while we’re in there and it’s really interesting.
Q: What made you want to be a teacher?
A: So I had a few different career paths, but I always knew I wanted to teach in the back of my mind. I loved that one day I would be able to control my own classroom and teach students a way that I was taught when I was younger and what helped me and how I can relate to them.
Q: What were your first years of teaching like?
A: When I first started teaching, I started off covering just for Señora Sampedro when she had just gone on leave for a little while and it was crazy. I remember feeling a little lost and thinking that students wouldn’t take me seriously, but I realized that those students taught me a whole lot and that I definitely chose the right profession and right career path.
Q: What has been your craziest experience as a teacher?
A: Oh my goodness. My craziest experience as a teacher. I don’t think I’ve had anything too crazy happen. No, I lied. The craziest thing that happened was one student walking across the room and slapping another student in the face in the middle of class. I didn’t find out why I just remember panicking and calling the vice principal to come to help me and separate those two students. That was pretty crazy. It was a few years ago, we’ll leave it at that.
Q: What is your favorite lesson that you teach?
A: There are two lessons in my Four Honors that I really like. So there is a debate on social media, the pros and cons of social media; we start off with doing research then we do a persuasive essay trying to influence our classmates to be for or against our view. Then, we do a really heated debate. Then, at the end of the year, I do a Cuban exodus project that talks about the different ways that people have fled Cuba over the years. I think I like that because I’ve done that over the last few years and have had it evolve and see that the students get really interested in it. So those are my two favorites.
Q: What is something that gives you intense nostalgia?
A: I feel like I get pretty nostalgic walking down the halls here every day thinking that I’m now an adult and I’m a teacher. Anytime I smell popcorn and I instantly think of going to the movies every Sunday with my dad. So that gives me intense nostalgia too; we used to do that every Sunday when I was little.
Q: What are some of your favorite Cuban traditions?
A: Nochebuenas (Christmas Eve) is probably my favorite just because my family all gather together; we cook and we eat all day. We don’t even keep track of the time. So, that’s probably my favorite tradition.
Q: (Emily Castro) How was it having your mom as a teacher?
A: Oh my goodness. It was interesting, but I was scheduled to have my mom every year starting from Spanish 2 and so on, and then when I got to AP she was the only one that taught it. So this was a time before we had Chromebooks and computers and our own personal devices, so she used to lock things on our home computer so I wouldn’t find them. But it was interesting, I remember sitting in class thinking, “Wow she’s brilliant,” so I remember she taught me so much just from a student’s point of view. It would be funny because I would try to raise my hand and she wouldn’t call on me. She’d be like, “Does anybody know the answer,” and I’d say, “Mom, I know!” and she’d be like, “I’m not Mom, I’m Señora!” She definitely taught me a lot, but it was probably one of the best experiences because I realized how much she taught me in the classroom and outside of the classroom.
Q: (Stella Abuauad) What are your favorite Cuban dishes?
A: My favorite Cuban dishes would be Ropa Vieja, it’s like shredded beef, just a nice typical Cuban sandwich, any kind of croquetas, and empanadas of guava y queso (guava and cheese), they’re like a dessert kind of empanada.
Q: What was your daughter’s first word? Did you want it to be that word?
A: Her first word was “dada”. I did not want it to be dada. It was on international women’s day that she said dada for the first time. Luckily she’s learned. She learned mama shortly after that so she’s okay.
Q: Anything else you want to add?
A: I think my biggest message would be for students considering continuing Spanish. One thing I hear a lot from Spanish 2 is, “Oh I don’t want to keep going because I don’t want to take the higher level classes.” I would encourage sticking with it because Spanish 1 and 2 are like the backbone of the language like vocab and grammar, but the higher up you go you have more of that freedom to do fun activities and be more creative and express yourself in the language. Just stick with it.
Q: Are you a barb?
A: What does that mean? A Nicki Minaj fan? Yeah, I don’t dislike her. I’ll listen to her if she’s on. I’m a barb.
Q: Are you a K-Pop fan? Who’s your bias?
A: I’m not a K-Pop fan, not that I have anything against it, I just never really listened to it.
Q: What animal resonates with you the most?
A: Dogs. I think just because I can be very quiet and reserved and cuddly and needy, but at the same time I have a burst of energy and I’m loyal.
Q: What’s your theory on big foot?
A: I’ve never seen him so I don’t know. I think he’s real, he’s out there. I think he’s out there, I think someone has come across him at some point. I don’t know, but he’s out there.
Q: (Mishri Parikh) If you could be any shoe, what type of shoe would you be?
A: I would be a sandal, like a chancleta, because they’re comfortable, they’re practical, simple, and go with everything.
Have another teacher or question in mind for the March interview? Tell us here: Getting to Know Your Teachers google form