Vanesa Torres knew she wanted to be a teacher since elementary school. She loved learning, studying and working with younger children as she was growing up. However, she didn’t always have the easiest time.
“The majority of my peers in elementary school in Portland were native English speakers,” Torres says. “I once got in trouble for speaking Spanish with a friend. My teacher said it was rude.”
Torres sees value in being bilingual, and she would like to see a dual immersion education system become the norm. Several elementary schools in the Corvallis School District offer dual immersion, with lessons taught in both English and Spanish.
“With Spanish being the second-most-spoken language in the U.S., dual immersion is a huge benefit for students,” Torres says. “It teaches them to work and communicate with all kinds of people.”
After student-teaching for one year at Lincoln Elementary School in Corvallis, Torres will step into her own classroom there this fall. And it will have dual immersion.
“The staff there is really supportive,” Torres says. “And I’ve found a home here in the Corvallis community.”