Dr. Eli Cohen to teach Spanish students global tools

Dr. Eli Cohen – Jeffrey Yang ’22

 Bringing his passions for Spanish and Hispanic cultures, Dr. Eli Cohen joins the Language department this year teaching Spanish III and Spanish V*. 

     Dr. Cohen, a resident of the area for some time, first found Haverford while looking for local teaching opportunities. After talking with his longtime friend and teammate on a local soccer team, Form Dean and English teacher Mr. Dan Keefe, Dr. Cohen looked deeper into the school. 

     “[Mr. Keefe] really had great things to say about Haverford and that piqued my interest; and things ended up working out,” Dr. Cohen said.

     Prior to Haverford, his first job was at a boarding school in Boston. Though Dr. Cohen enjoyed the experience of teaching, he felt too young at that time and decided to return to his studies. Though brief, this first experience in education, Dr. Cohen knew, was not his last. 

     Dr. Cohen said, “I looked at my older colleagues who had young families like I do now, and they all were really happy; I always thought that [teaching] was something I would come back to.”

     In fact, as someone without any native Spanish-speaking background, he first found his interest in teaching Spanish during his multiple stays in Spain during his educational career.

     “I spent a lot of time studying in Spain in college, and after college I ended up finally getting a Masters degree in Spain. A lot of the people that I was with in that program were school teachers or were going to come back to the States and become high school teachers, and so that seemed like a good option.”

     After finishing his graduate studies, Dr. Cohen taught at the college level for multiple years, most recently at Swarthmore College. He enjoyed the opportunity to teach courses in higher education that would not be apt for secondary school students; however, since he has recently taught many college first years, Dr. Cohen expects the experience of teaching Haverford students to be similar. 

  “It’s always a pleasure to teach students who want to learn, and I think that’s what my impression is of the students here.” 

Dr. Eli Cohen

     “I think that the caliber of students at Haverford is very similar to the caliber of students that I’ve been teaching at Swarthmore College,” Dr. Cohen said. “I think that my impression is that the students are good—it’s always a pleasure to teach students who want to learn, and I think that’s what my impression is of the students here.” 

     Outside of the classroom, Dr. Cohen coaches Third Form soccer, practices photography and creative writing, plays soccer and basketball, and takes care of his family. 

     “I’m exploring opportunities to get engaged with some of the clubs and things like that; I still am not totally familiar with everything that the students are doing,” Dr. Cohen said.

     Above all, to those whom he will meet, Dr. Cohen hopes to teach more than just a language. 

     “I want to try to get students to understand that language isn’t the end of what I’m trying to teach them—like it’s not conjugating verbs and learning vocabulary and things like that. [Languages are] important because they are tools for allowing one to participate in other experiences,” Mr. Cohen said, “and that’s really what I hope students come to understand and look forward to.”

Author: Jeffrey Yang '22

Managing editor Jeffrey Yang has written for The Index since 2018. He previously served as news editor. His feature "Fords immigrants under the spotlight: Mr. Kan's citizenship odyssey" earned a Gold Key from the 2020 Philadelphia-area Scholastic Writing Awards.