Teresa Calderon de la Barca

Teresa Calderon de la Barca
Teacher, Senior School Modern Languages
September, 2000
BA, BSS, MA (University of Guadalajara); Dip Ed (Baja California South)

Be student-focused, competent, flexible, and aware of uniqueness amongst students.

Born in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, Teresa was a high school principal in her native town before she moved to British Columbia to teach at Pearson College. She heard about SMUS and, after seven years at Pearson, decided to bring her 32 years of teaching experience to our school.

“Teaching is a dynamic and rapidly developing process,” Teresa says. “It evolves daily as I learn through professional development, by studying my peers and—most importantly—by listening to my students.”

Teresa sees her role as more than a source of knowledge, but also a source of support and resources. She strives to be approachable, accessible and genuinely invested in her students' academic success.

“A key element in the foreign language classroom is keeping students motivated,” she says. “Teaching Spanish in Mexico has enabled me to draw upon my own culture and personal experience as a foreigner and foreign language learner.”

Teresa also organizes activities related to the holidays from the Spanish and Latin-American culture for the entire school and leads students on school trips to practice their Spanish and expand their cultural knowledge.

She believes group interaction and teamwork are important to language learning and social and mental growth in general. Giving students the opportunity to use their knowledge really shows what has been learned and what needs to be explained more thoroughly.

“My biggest accomplishments come when my students can communicate fluently in Spanish with me,” she says. “I also feel very proud when I receive letters from alumni who are studying Spanish at the university level.”