SOUTHINGTON — A political science student in Washington, DC, Bethany Rosin never planned to be a language teacher.
She had studied Spanish since her days as a student at DePaolo Middle School and took the opportunity to return to her old school to teach. Rosin, who has taught at DePaolo since 2005, is this year’s Southington Teacher of the Year.
“I love the class I teach,” she said. “They learn so much so quickly and it’s amazing how far they can go with a language.”
School Superintendent Steven Madancy described Rosin as an “outstanding professional” who helps new teachers.
“She demonstrates a passion for lifelong learning as a professional, develops strong relationships with students, and gives back to the community she serves through various civic engagement efforts,” Madancy said. “I couldn’t be happier for Bethany because she so deserves this accolade.”
Rosin graduated from the Catholic University of America in 2003 with a degree in political science.
“I didn’t really think I was going to be a language teacher,” she said. “There were opportunities for a language teacher and I had always taken Spanish.”
Rosin lived in Guatemala for a semester and volunteered in Costa Rica to improve her language skills. However, spending time in another country wasn’t just about learning Spanish.
“Especially since I started teaching, language courses have changed. We are much less focused on learning the language and much more on learning the culture,” Rosin said. “We get to compare and contrast culture and understand how children and people from other cultures are similar and different from us.”
This summer, Rosin is traveling to Buenos Aires, Argentina, thanks to a grant from the Teachers’ Fund.
“I will study the culture of Argentina and bring back a unit on life in the city,” she says. “(I will) be living in Buenos Aires for a little over a week.”
The experience will help her explain to students the differences in food, tradition, beliefs and history.
“I really like teaching Spanish. It’s so much more than language. We really dive into the culture, I think the students find it interesting and I know I find it interesting,” Rosin said.
She had received the Funds for Teachers scholarship in 2020, but the trip was postponed due to the pandemic. Education is in some ways back to normal, according to Rosin, and in others still different.
“We have a long way to go to understand what happened during the pandemic and how it changed people and how it impacted education,” she said. “We have to be really open to the changes that might be needed.
“It’s been a tricky year because we’ve had two years of irregularity,” she added. “We had students inside, students outside, students on the computer. This idea of bringing everyone back into the classroom, engaged in person, was a struggle this year.
Madancy, DePaolo principal Chris Palmieri and others walked into Rosin’s classroom on the second-to-last day of school to tell her that she had been chosen as teacher of the year. She said it was a nice surprise.
Palmieri said Rosin was an “outstanding” Spanish teacher who helped the school fill vacancies in the World Languages program.
“Bethany was instrumental in finding new Spanish teachers at DePaolo,” Palmieri said. “To see her in a classroom, the way she can connect with the kids, teach them a new language, it’s amazing.”
Rosin is a mentor teacher at DePaolo. She praised her fellow educators at school.
“I am so grateful to have a supportive environment at school. We all really needed to lean on each other this year,” Rosin said. “It has been such a blessing to work with wonderful teachers, staff and students. »