Name: Dana Pierre
School: Bozeman High School
Language(s) Taught: English, Spanish, French
Years of Experience: This is my first year teaching Spanish, but I taught English in France as an assistant de langue for a year as well as English and French for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama.
Education: BA in Spanish from University of Montana with a minor in French
What is the most rewarding part of your career as a language teacher? I love building positive relationships with students and seeing them become not only multilingual, but multicultural as well. It is cool to watch learning languages open doors and present opportunities that students would not have had otherwise. For example, in my time in the Peace Corps, I worked teaching English with an after school program and my students had an opportunity to get a scholarship to study in the U.S. or the U.K. Ten students in 2 years got to study abroad! It was so amazing to be a part of that.
What is one personal or professional goal that you have for yourself, your school or your department? I’ve got so many! As a first year teacher in an awesome department, I am excited to learn as much as I can from my colleagues and implement their best practices in my own classroom.
What is one of your favorite travel experiences?
I have to say that my time in Panama with the Peace Corps has been my most meaningful experience abroad. I lived with a gracious host family who not only treated and loved me like their true child, but taught me so much. During this time, I taught English and French to high schoolers.
Do you have any advice for other world language teachers?
My advice for others is just to be sure to apply the growth mindset that we try to instill in our students to ourselves. In other words, the most important thing is that we are always learning and trying new things and working to become better teachers because there is always room to improve.