Foreign Language Department
receptionist, elementary, preschool teacher
Interests: Hispanic music
In her next life, Blair Spanish teacher Dora Gonzalez wants to be a singer. That would be a shame, because she clearly has a passion for teaching. While she admits that singing would be more exciting "in some areas," she says that teaching is her true calling.
Sra. Gonzalez grew up in Puerto Rico and attended a school that emphasized self-expression. She says her wonderful instructors there inspired her to become a teacher. Years later, she returned to her school and had the opportunity teach pre-kindergarten with some of her former teachers. "It was a wonderful experience," she remembers. It further inspired her to educate, this time in an elementary school in Iowa.
Sra. Gonzalez took a 13 year break from teaching to be a receptionist for her husband's business. "A receptionist – can you believe that?" she asks, laughing. Every September, she went into "teaching withdrawal" and was noticeably less cheerful. "My family members were relieved when I decided to start teaching again," she says, and they were very encouraging.
Sra. Gonzalez started at Blair as an instructional assistant in the ESOL department, and currently teaches Spanish. She loves the classroom and impacting her students' lives. She says she never removes unruly students from her class "because I have to be a role model. I try to give them the tools to change their behavior." Sra. Gonzalez explains that most behavior problems are due to the student's personal issues, so she tries to be understanding.
She loves music, especially Hispanic music. "I don't like rock," she says, but she enjoys hip-hop, pop, and more traditional music. "I like the younger singers, surprisingly," she says, "as long as the song has meaning."
Sra. Gonzalez plans on teaching for a long time. "My philosophy is that if I enjoy what I'm doing, my students will enjoy it. They will learn without knowing that they're learning." She says she will probably continue to teach Spanish, explaining, "I want people to love my language."