By: Sophia Stunkard
As you walk into classroom 6174, you are greeted with a vibrant array of banners and art all depicting the beauty of hispanic culture, and with this you will find the teacher who’s eccentric personality makes up the heart of this room, Señora Marshall.
With over 20 years of working at JHS, Marshall is currently teaching a multitude of different Spanish courses including Spanish III, IV, and AP Spanish Language and Literature. Today, we will be diving into how Marshall’s love for the language came to be, how she has overcome the obstacles of the past year and everything in between.
From Law School to High School; How did Señora get here?
“I never wanted to be a teacher, ever,” says Marshall. “Growing up my mom was a teacher, all my aunts and cousins were teachers, so I saw teaching inside and out and saw how they worked really long hours and how hard of a job it truly was.”
As a matter of fact, Marshall was pursuing a career in law to be an immigration attorney, that is right until the summer before law school was set to commence. Marshall describes how on one summer day, she gets a call from her mom who is teaching in Noel, Missouri.
Her mom explained that her school was in need of a translator to help with the massive amount of hispanic immigrant families trying to enroll their children to said school. She knew she could use the Spanish that she had learned throughout her college studies, so she left for Missouri to help those in need.
Marshall reflects on this experience in a positive light.
“For me, it was life-changing because I could use the fact that I was bilingual to help hispanic families who really wanted to make a difference in their community and give their kids the best opportunities here in the states,” said Marshall. At this moment, Marshall discovered that teaching was her passion — she then went back to OSU to obtain a Masters of Education.
2020, The Year of Overcoming Obstacles
Undoubtedly, there were a variety of challenges that the year 2020 presented, and these problems didn’t discriminate. Parents, students and teachers alike were all affected. From being in and out of distance learning to students losing motivation, Marshall describes the adversities that she conquered throughout the past year. Marshall explained that due to the pandemic, many students either still feel like they are on vacation or just seem disinterested in general. Luckily, not only does Marshall have years of teaching experience, but she is also naturally creative. Using both of these traits, she has been able to come up with inventive methods of teaching and engaging lesson plans to keep students who are prone to lack of interest involved.
Some of the engaging activities include (but are not limited to):
Assigning fun reading and art related activities, online research presentations, and at one point, she even created a coffee bar for her AP Language class so they could experience different cultures through coffee.
Want some recommendations for hispanic entertainment? Señora has her favorite suggestions for you!
Television: “The Time In Between” and “High Seas”
Books: Marshall recommends an author named Adriana Ramirez, who writes several shorter novels depicting the beauty of Colombian culture and history.
Music: Marshall loves Shakira, Maná which is a Mexican rock band, and she also recommends Colombian pop artist Camilo Echeverry.
“Take advantage of the opportunities that you have in front of you now – nobody cares about your success and development as much as your teachers.” – Señora Marshall