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Meet the Teachers: Profesora Ponce!

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Profesora Ponce, a dedicated teacher, teaches French and Spanish for freshmen and sophomores. She openly shared information about her life growing up, her passion for teaching here at BCA, and her personality, among others.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in El Salvador until I was 10, and then I came here because of the civil war.

How did you know you wanted to teach Spanish and French?

Well, I always wanted to teach since I was little, but then when I got to college, I had visited El Salvador that summer before freshman year and I realized that I didn’t know the grammar, and it was like I fell in love with Spanish, like I realized what a beautiful language because I went back, already 18. So when I went back freshman year, I said, well I’m going to take a Spanish course and see how it goes! I loved it. I loved how the grammar worked, and I switched my major to Spanish education, and then junior year, I had taken French in high school, and I realized I had been intimidated by it so I never took it at the beginning of college, but junior year I was like, well, I really like it, so I’m going to give it a try. I went and signed up for a class, and I added French to my education.

What hobbies do you have?

Hobbies? Oh, you know my hobbies. [laughs] Besides K-dramas, I loved to learn about new cultures in general. So I’ll read and watch about them but that’s about it, I mean most of my time outside of school is occupied with my son, so, in a way, I don’t have time for hobbies, except when he’s gone to bed, I can probably watch Korean dramas.

What do you love the most about teaching here at BCA?

Oh my God, so much stuff. I love teaching, period, so I don’t think it matters where, and I’ve taught in other schools before. I love teaching languages and I love the students here. I think the students are wonderful, and I’ve expressed that to you guys, how it’s so much easier to teach here in the academic aspect, because students are willing to work and learn, and that’s rare outside of BCA. So yes, I think I just love the fact that students are interested, dedicated, and willing to put the time and effort. I just think it’s fun!

What advice would you give for BCA students?

Um, I think that grades don’t define you: that your worth is not found in whether or not you have an A. You said advice right? So yeah, like just this morning I had this student who was so upset she didn’t make a competition, and I tried to comfort her. And it’s tough, because most likely she didn’t want to hear anything, but basically, I said that to her, it’s okay. You know, there will be times when you won’t be where you want to be, but it’s okay because you’re still you, and again, your worthiness is not found in whether you’ve placed in this competition, or if you got an A, or if you made it to Harvard.

What’s the best childhood memory that you have?

Wow. I think from my memory, even though I lived through a war that was basically my whole childhood, my best memory is having both of my parents, because soon after we came here, my dad left, and my mom eventually passed away. Just being with my parents, my siblings, and my nieces who I grew up with because they were my age, and just playing with them, we had a great time. I would spend a lot of time with my nieces, and I always remembered that. Even during the war, I remember the fact that I could play with my nieces made my childhood still beautiful.

So far during your time here at BCA, what has been your best memory?

Um, getting to work with the caliber of students. I think I shared this with you guys, but I came not knowing what BCA was about and discovering little by little who I’m working with was just like something good. I can’t think of a specific memory, but in general, working with this caliber of students that I have in French and Spanish.

Is there a specific reason you wanted to teach? What is it about teaching that appeals to you?

Well, now I know: back then when I was 5 and I wanted to be a teacher, I didn’t know why. For me, it’s a calling and the best part is just how fun it can be. It sounds cliché, but the fact that I can make a difference in life of one student is so huge, and it’s so beautiful when I hear from students and they say that they love my class and learn. And even if it wasn’t the language they learned, they took something out of my class. Does that make sense?

What is a funny memory of yours from the past? For example, a memory from high school?

Funny memories? Just again, I laugh a lot with my students, and every year, there’s something funny that happens, and I just really enjoy that.

Is there anything funny from this year?

A lot of times, I’ll say something wrong, and my students will always correct me, since I’m not a native English speaker. Also, my afternoon class teaching me how to dab, whatever that is. [dabs] They explained the whole thing. Also, I always say memes wrong. [laughs] I always say it in Spanish or French, like ‘mems.’ Yeah, I have a lot of fun every year.

What was your favorite subject in high school?

It was actually history, because it came easily for me, and literature. The humanities in general, but French wasn’t. I struggled in French but history and literature were my favorites.

What extracurricular activities did you participate in during high school and college?

None in high school, because my mom would not let me, except French club, but that was just during the day. My mom was strict. In college, even though it’s not really an extracurricular, I was part of a Christian group. I was never into proving myself as this ‘complete student.’ That’s why I tell my students not to go crazy, because at the end, you’re going to be okay. It doesn’t matter. If you really enjoy it, though, do it. Oh, and I was also part of the Spanish honor society, but it didn’t really become this huge thing that occupied all my time.

Is there anything you miss about El Salvador?

Honestly, I’ve lived here all my life, so I’m more American than Salvadorian, so I can’t tell you because I came here so young. Again, going back to my memories, that my parents were both present, and just the family moments.

Did you have any role models growing up?

Um, I guess I didn’t realize it then, but I realize now that it was my mom. Just the fact that she was so strong and so wise. Now, looking back, it was definitely my mom.

Did you have any jobs in college/high school?

Oh yeah, but not in high school, again because my mom was very strict, so she wouldn’t allow me to do anything. In college I did. I worked with the dean of education as a student assistant, and then I also worked for resident’s life. I started as a desk assistant, and then I became a resident assistant. I loved it. Not only did I get free meals and discount for living there, but also I got to meet people and it taught me a lot.

You mentioned your love of Korean dramas, so are there any favorites you recommend?

[laughs] This is so cheesy. No, people are going to be like really? Do students read this? Teachers do. They’re going to think I’m crazy. My favorite– this is so embarrassing- is My Love From the Star. I’m just going to say that one. I don’t want to go down my list of my top 30 K-dramas [laughs].

Thank you, Profesora Ponce!

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Meet the Teachers: Profesora Ponce!