Spanish teacher, Mirian Santiago, says that destiny led her to OLMA. Just before joining us, Ms. Santiago worked at another Catholic School that suffered declining enrollment, threatening her position. That's when destiny stepped in. Ms. Santiago's principal knew of an open job at OLMA and recommended her.
Now in her third year at OLMA, Ms. Santiago is still impressed with her students' work ethic. "My students inspire me to be the best version of myself," she said. "It's truly a gift to see them blossom. Knowing that I'm teaching Spanish to young women who will be future doctors, teachers, lawyers, and elected officials makes me want to come to work each day."
Ms. Santiago is a high-energy instructor. She makes learning Spanish fun and often dances her way through class. That's what she missed the most when transitioning to distance learning last spring. "It was an adjustment because I was used to feeling good vibes as soon as the girls came into the classroom," said Ms. Santiago. "We all needed some good vibes, so I decided not to let a screen dim our energy. I managed to get my chicas pumped up with our favorite Spanish music jams. I also incorporated more games and other fun activities to keep them engaged. I assured them that I would always be there for them no matter where learning was taking place."
It worked, and Ms. Santiago says that she's proudest of the times when the girls tell her they used what they're learning in class to help someone else communicate. "It warms my heart knowing that the girls aren't afraid to use the language, even if they're not that great at it yet," she said. "They are ready to meet any challenge that comes their way."
A few little-known facts about Ms. Santiago include that she's originally from Mexico City and can also speak Italian and Japanese. She lived in Granada, Spain, for six months while studying abroad at the University of Granada. She loves to travel and has visited Ireland, Italy, France, Portugal, Mexico, Gibraltar, and many different places in Spain. She's hoping to travel to Japan next. In her spare time, Ms. Santiago provides Spanish tutoring to people all over the world.