Furches travels and inspires


Gaby Sciaudone

Students in Furches’ third-period class are captivated by the lesson. Every day, her Spanish students learn more and more from Furches, a teacher whom they find both inspirational and encouraging.

Gaby Sciaudone, Sports Editor

Annie Furches is one of the most experienced Spanish teachers Wakefield has ever seen. As someone who has traveled to countless countries and witnessed many different cultures, Furches is able to use her experiences to help her students be the best they can be both in and out of the classroom. 

This is Furches’ sixth year at Wakefield, where she teaches a variety of students ranging from freshmen to seniors. In her free time away from teaching, Furches can be found traveling all around the world. Her favorite place she has ever traveled to is Cuba – she feels her experiences from that trip she took in college have taught her many lessons. 

“[Travel] gives me a different perspective,” Furches said. “You go somewhere like Cuba where there’s a lot more slang, and they cut off their words, but it is still just as valid and acceptable. It [helped me to] make sure I was being a little bit more cognizant of the other dialects that I may have in my classroom.”

If anyone knows about those other dialects, it is Furches, because she has adventured all over the globe. She has been to Saint Lucia, the Bahamas, Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy and many other countries. Over spring break, Furches will go on a school-sponsored trip to Europe, where she will experience even more opportunities to continue to help her Spanish students. 

“There’s always something you learn anytime you go somewhere different or somewhere new,” Furches said. 

Alexandra Ellis is also a Spanish teacher at Wakefield. She teaches levels two, three, and four. This is her third year at the school. As a fellow educator, she has noticed that Furches’ travels have definitely elevated her teaching skills. 

There’s always something you learn anytime you go somewhere different or somewhere new.

— Furches

“Getting to go to other countries [and see] other cultures definitely improves your overall view of the world, and it helps you teach the cultural topics that we teach in Spanish,” Ellis said. 

Students also agree that learning cultural topics are important. Junior Adam Hardy took Spanish one and two last year with Furches, and he greatly admires her teaching style.

“We’re learning Spanish, so it’s very important to learn about Spanish history and Spanish cultures. We have days set aside where we just do cultural [studies] and not really learn about the language itself,” Hardy said. “We become very involved in Spanish cultures and places she has been and experienced.” 

Furches also utilizes travel projects in order to better teach students about the cultures she has experienced. Sophomore Ella Barnes took Spanish one and two last year, and is currently taking Spanish three. As someone who has had Furches as a teacher for all three levels of Spanish, Barnes has hands-on experience with such activities. 

“Whenever she talks about places she’s traveled, a certain location, for example, we have to do a project on where she went,” Barnes said. 

Although Furches is an excellent Spanish teacher, her students think of her as even more than that. Some students attribute their success in Furches’ class to the positive learning space she creates. 

“My favorite part about her class is the type of environment that she builds,” Hardy said. “Everyone can talk and have fun, but we still do get everything we need to get done. She just creates a fun environment where everyone becomes each other’s friend.”

Her colleagues also appreciate the kindness Furches shows to everyone she meets. 

“She is always willing to help,” Ellis said. “She was the person I leaned on the most when I first got to Wakefield, so she’s just a very helpful, very knowledgeable person to have as a colleague and a friend.”

Furches also assists students with any personal issues they are struggling with, and she loves to encourage them in any way she can – something Hardy has acknowledged.

“She’s such a good mentor, she’s more than just my Spanish teacher,” Hardy said. “She encouraged me throughout my class to be a leader, helping people out who don’t understand [certain topics] because I’m pretty good at Spanish.”

Another element of Furches’ teaching is the positive atmosphere she creates within her classroom.

“She’s made an impact on my being able to trust my teachers and find a love for classes other than just the basic ones like Spanish,” Barnes said. “I [love] taking Spanish because she’s teaching it.”