Bienvenida a Señora Resendiz: Spanish Department Gains a Member

Hedy Gutfreund and Henry Pollock  Co-Editor in Chief, Managing Editor  _DSC0641 “I had originally wanted to be a teacher of something,” says Ms. Leticia Resendiz, Latin’s newest Spanish teacher, on her desire to teach—she just didn’t know it was going to be Spanish. This attitude toward teaching is unmistakable in her; it’s a spirit to teach Latin students not only the Spanish language, but also a spirit to share the Latino culture with the Latin community. Ms. Resendiz’s spirit comes through not only with her words, but also with her expressions—just a mention of Spanish language and culture brings an uncontrollable smile and desire to share her knowledge. Born and raised in Chicago, Ms. Resendiz has always been exposed to Spanish; in fact, it’s her first language. Her parents were from Mexico and taught her the language. She realized the nexus between her native tongue and her desire to teach because her “professors really inspired [her] and encouraged [her.]” This was at UIC, when she started to delve into studying Latino culture and history. She explains, “It really opened me up and got me interested in the language. Also, my Spanish teacher in high school made me enjoy the language.” Ms. Resendiz’s teaching career started at Morton West High School in Berwyn, where she taught for three years. She then taught for three years at Social Justice High School in Chicago. But Latin has never been too far from her—in fact, she almost went here for high school. Although she ended up attending Lane Tech herself, she has always kept the school in her mind. Remarking on her first visit to Latin as a teacher, “When I came to visit I was very impressed by the students and the staff,” a quality that hasn’t changed from her days as a high school student. Perhaps her teaching style, too, might lend her to be an impressive teacher herself. This year, she’ll be teaching Spanish 4 and Honors Spanish 3. In her words, “I’m definitely not a lecturer. I love to have as many activities as possible—conversations, short films, music, even trying to be active in the classroom.” That dynamic perspective on teaching is only amplified by her desire to share her culture with the community. In her words, “I have a very personal connection to Spanish, and I am very excited to spread my interest.” In coming years, she hopes to do something to celebrate Latino Heritage Month at Latin and “teach the community more about Latino culture and [herself].” To close, The Forum wanted to know some fun facts about Ms. Resendiz. Her dream vacation is one she actually gets to take often: going to Cancun and lying on the beach. Although she had trouble picking a favorite food, she thinks that her favorite food might be Latin’s cafeteria menu itself. “I’ve been telling everyone it’s so good I’ll probably gain twenty pounds,” she laughs. Hopefully, the Latin community can gain even more from her presence.]]>