March Spotlight: Tom Leafty
Name: Tom Leafty
School: Ronan High School
Language(s) Taught: Spanish
Years of Experience: 24
Education: BS Secondary Ed, Major in Social Science, Minor in Spanish. Almost completed a masters in Spanish.
What is the most rewarding part of your career as a language teacher? I love working with the students and to see their progress in learning Spanish but see their growth as people. I love the "Aha!" moments when a student is struggling with a concept and when they finally get it. You see it in their eyes.
What is one personal or professional goal that you have for yourself, your school or your department? I would love to go on a mission with my wife. I would like to finish my Masters in Spanish. I would like to see the school offer more languages.
What is one of your favorite travel experiences? One of my favorite experiences with my students was when we took a trip to Mexico. To see them experience the culture and practice their Spanish in the real world. My favorite travel experience was when I went to Santiago de Compostela in Spain in 2008 when I was studying Spanish for my master's degree.
Do you have any advice for other world language teachers? Enjoy what you are doing. Never take it too seriously. I have learned that when a student says this is dumb. Or another negative expression. I respond, "So, what you are saying is that this is difficult and you don't understand it at this time." They almost always respond that is correct.