Teacher Feature: Ms. Rocio Gomez

spanish teacher at distance learning post
Allison Kostiuk

Some things are meant to be. OLMA Spanish teacher, Rocio Gómez is living proof of that. A native of Spain, Ms. Gómez always wanted to teach in the United States, where she could both use and improve her English. "I love the language, the culture, and, of course, traveling," she said. "I applied for and was accepted to a program and was even assigned to teach Spanish in Indiana. That same year, my school in Spain, San Agustín Los Negrales, was part of an OLMA exchange program. I met Mrs. Coyle, and before I knew it, Indiana was out, and New Jersey was in."

Two years later, Ms. Gómez is still here. While her original plan was to teach in the U.S. for one year, she fell in love with OLMA and her students and decided to extend her stay. "I also realized what a great opportunity it was for me to learn and grow professionally," said Ms. Gómez. "I'm the kind of person who thinks that we always learn a lot from every new experience. I may decide to stay even longer." 

That would be fine with us. Ms. Gómez brings a unique perspective to the class from her many years of living and working in Spain. "Last year, I had some of the students from my old school send letters to my OLMA students," she said. "Both groups discovered that they had many misperceptions. What they thought was true was, in fact, not the case at all. That kind of understanding is one of the greatest things about foreign exchange."

Ms. Gómez gives 100 percent and then some every day and is pretty easy going overall. That came in handy last March when she had to shift almost overnight to teaching online. "At first, I was a little bit in shock," she said. "I've taken online classes before but have never been the one teaching. Fortunately, OLMA had us covered. The administration was committed to maintaining the highest level of excellence possible and made sure we teachers had the guidance we needed." 

Six months later, things are going very well, and she looks forward to seeing her students on campus very soon. We all do! Gracias, Ms. Gómez. 

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