The Voice of Wakefield High School
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AURELIA ALTMAN, Foreign Languages Department

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AURELIA ALTMAN, Foreign Languages Department

Q:  What made you decide to teach Spanish?

A:  I was working for almost 20 years and I came from Argentina when I was a teenager. This country gave me a lot so I said that it’s time for me to give back. That’s why I love to teach Spanish–to give back.

Q:  What does your typical workday look like?

A: I usually wake up very early. I try to leave right after my last period because I’m exhausted. If I don’t have a meeting, I try to go home and spend time with my family. I teach for Wake Tech too.

Q:  Can you tell me more about your background?

A:  My family after World War II went to Argentina. I’m the only Argentinean in the family. Everybody else speaks Italian because they are from Florence, Italy. I went to school [and spoke] in Spanish, but at home, we spoke Italian.

Q:  What brought you to Wakefield?

A:  I was teaching in a private school and in a charter school. So I said I have experience in teaching both of them. Now I [teach at] public schools so I can have the whole experience of teaching because they are very different.

Q:  What do you like most about Wakefield?

A:  I think the best thing is the students because we have so many different types and different cultures. I think that we make a really good community.

Q:  What do you like to do outside of school?

A: I love to travel. I try to go to Europe every year with my students. We try to touch Spain because that’s what I teach so that I can bring the classroom outside the classroom.

Q: Do you have any crazy teaching stories?

A: I have too many to count. I think the most beautiful thing about teaching is to see the student’s growth. In the beginning, it’s really scary to learn another language and at the end of the class, you can see the confidence. It’s because they see it in me. I have an accent, right? If I can do it, you can do it.

Q:  What is your advice for students taking your class?

A: I think you have to do the work. Learning another language doesn’t happen in one day.

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