The modern and classical languages department strives for cultural authenticity, and this year’s valuable addition will serve that goal. Mrs. Javon Reinoso will teach Spanish III and Spanish IV, implementing the lessons she has learned over the past several years. With a B.A. from Temple University and an M.A.Ed. from LaSalle University, Mrs. Reinoso has been teaching since 2015, and her recent experiences will bring a unique perspective to the classroom.
Mrs. Reinoso did not always plan to be a teacher. Coming from a family that predominantly worked in the medical field, she started her life wanting to become a nurse. However, her career outlook changed while taking the General Education class at Temple University.
“As part of the education class I had to volunteer at a GED [General Education Development] program,” Mrs. Reinoso said. “Just being there, teaching the students, and developing a rapport with them, it was really eye-opening. So many of them had to drop out due to wanting to help their single parents; they had to get jobs, help in the house, pay for bills…they were just so passionate to go back to school. Occupying a space in their life where I was that influential to them and I could help them throughout their journey to graduate, that was really inspiring to me.”
After her experience teaching in the GED program, Mrs. Reinoso committed to a career in teaching, switching her major to education and landing a job as a Spanish teacher.
“After I graduated, I got a job teaching Spanish, and I really liked it and I wanted to get my master’s in it,” Mrs. Reinoso said. “I furthered my education and went to LaSalle University to get a master’s, and it’s just been uphill from there.”
Mrs. Reinoso spent last year teaching and living in Spain, which has helped improve her knowledge of the language and culture.
If one way of teaching is not functioning, then try a different way,MRs. javon reinoso
“I always wanted to be fully immersed in the culture,” Mrs. Reinoso said. “I wanted to be able to really understand the people: the way that they dress, the way that they talk. In Spain, they speak a different dialect and they also speak ‘castellano’ [Castilian] instead of just Spanish. I wanted to understand how that language might be similar and different to the Spanish language, and be immersed in the culture by talking to the people.”
One major difference she noticed in Spain was the education system, which emphasizes hands-on learning and the importance of language.
“They want their children to be able to learn in different ways, whether it’s doing activities outside, moving in the classroom, or using technology,” Mrs. Reinoso said. “They encourage children at the age of three to learn a different language, which is English, and they try to embed education in different activities and different ways of thinking.”
Mrs. Reinoso hopes her personal experience will provide her students with a better understanding of Spanish culture.
“Being in that culture and living among them, I can provide my students with more detail and more concrete ideas and get away from any stereotypes,” Mrs. Reinoso said.
To promote authentic understanding in her classes, Mrs. Reinoso is looking forward to the creative opportunities ahead.
“If one way of teaching is not functioning, then try a different way,” Mrs. Reinoso said. “[Haverford] is very open-minded about different ways of teaching, and I really like that because it allows you to get that professional development that you might want or need and apply that in the classroom.”