by Kaydence Ham/Staff Writer
Many people are well aware of the value of a teacher in their lives. For students, a teacher is the one who influences their character, habits, career, and education in life. They mold students and their futures accordingly in order to make them responsible citizens of the country. There are certain people whom one remembers throughout one’s life because that person genuinely cares. One such person may well be Mrs. Erika Amador.
Mrs. Amador has one main goal for students who leave her class and it’s not that they will be fluent in Spanish. Cultural acceptance and knowledge are very important to Ms. Amador. “Yes, I want kids to know Spanish…but mainly if they have an open mind towards other people, groups, and cultures,” she said. “That’s a big success.” Her co-worker, Miss Sonja Jaggers agreed that World Language teachers try to make education relevant and that is part of the way Mrs. Amador relates to her students.
Amador understands that students and teachers of today have so many challenges they face. She feels that technology is the biggest challenge because it can be a huge distraction. Along with that is “all the expectations placed on students by other people,” she said. “Sometimes students feel like they have to have an A or B or else they’re failing and that’s not the case. C is average.” That is a lot of pressure to handle and it can be overwhelming for students.
She does her best to overcome these challenges with students by communicating. “I’m very open with students and expect them to communicate openly with me as well,” Amador said. Miss Jaggers said part of the reason Mrs. Amador is such a good teacher is “relationships and trying to be positive during the challenging times.”
Some of her students would agree that she is positive. “Mrs. Amador always had a great attitude and tries to put us in a good mood too,” Marissa Clapp, freshman, said.
Amador overcomes her own challenges by trying to find new techniques and ways to manage what she describes as her lack of time management skills and technology skills. Although Mrs. Amador recognizes her technology skills as a weakness, when interviewed, Miss Jaggers described her as, “Tech-savvy, fun, and family oriented.” Amador also recognizes that in our current COVID climate there are multiple challenges for teachers today and teachers need to, “push aside all the ‘junk’ and focus on the students and why you became a teacher to begin with.”
She would recommend if a student does want to ace any foreign language repetition is key but it’s also important to immerse yourself in that language.
Ms. Amador has busy days at G-C filled with back to back classes and lunch duty. She loves teaching and enjoys interacting with students and sharing her passion for Spanish. The students recognize her passion. “I actually don’t mind Spanish because she is really good at keeping us engaged and keeping us busy so time doesn’t pass so slowly in her class,” Clapp said.
She also loves that her students “always surprise me. For better or worse they always surprise me”.
Students will likely be walking the hallways of G-C a decade from now and see Mrs. Amador because she plans to stick around. “I like teaching. That’s why I’m here.” She has either been in school as a student or a teacher for 36 years and she sees many more years to come trying to instill a love of culture in students because to her “that’s a job well done.”