Tu vecino – Claudia Rodríguez
Our Chattanooga area is home to many awesome Spanish-speakers. In our Tu vecino blog, we highlight some of our incredible Spanish-speaking neighbors!
For this month’s post, Teo met up with Claudia Rodríguez at the Chattanooga School of Language. In this blog, learn more about her and how she came to be a Spanish teacher in Chattanooga, TN.
¿Qué hace? What does she do?
Claudia grew up in Mexico and now she teaches Spanish here in Chattanooga. She offers classes for adults at the Chattanooga School of Language. Children can also enjoy Claudia’s teaching at The Bright School, where she works with kids from Jr. Pre-K to 1st grade.
¿Cuáles son sus metas profesionales? What are her professional goals?Claudia actually has a background in psychology from the Universidad de las Américas, A.C., and earned a master’s degree in behavioral medicine at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, both highly respected institutions in Mexico and abroad. When her husband’s company gave them the opportunity to move to the United States, she had the chance to make a career change. She took the opportunity to start teaching Spanish, and discovered that she loved it!
“I think teaching is my calling,” she told us. “It’s my passion! I enjoy learning new techniques and methods. I see myself doing it for a long time.”
As for professional goals, Claudia wants to keep developing her teaching practice so that she can have an even greater impact on her students. With her academic background and experience, she could potentially try some other fields, but at this point she doesn’t know that she could find another profession as rewarding as teaching.
¿Cómo incluye la cultura en sus clases? How does she include culture in her classes?
We asked Claudia about the cultural elements that she shares with her students, and she said that she shares herself. As a teacher from Mexico, she brings with her a wide variety of memories and nuggets of cultural learning. Her Spanish students can learn about warm, lively restaurants in the La Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City, nights spent dancing salsa with her husband and their group of friends, and the delicious rice pudding she used to eat when she was a kid. Some of these “ordinary” things from her life are fascinating for her students. She also said that her students teach her lots of things and inspire her to keep growing and learning more herself!
¿Qué hace cuando no está enseñando? What does she do when she isn’t teaching?Before coming to Chattanooga, Claudia spent most of her life in Mexico City which has a population of around 9 million people within the city limits. Claudia enjoys living in a smaller, more manageable city like Chattanooga. She loves how easy it is to get outdoors here and enjoy nature. She enjoys hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing. If you’re into climbing you might run into her at the High Point climbing gym, working on her lead climbing skills. Claudia really enjoys her life in Chattanooga, though she sometimes feels nostalgic about the food, friends, and family back in Mexico.
We asked her if any restaurants in Chattanooga offered food that reminded her of home, and she said that the one that came to mind was Taconooga, on the North Shore. Maybe if you take a class with her, you can go to Taconooga and order in Spanish!
¿Quieres conectarte con Claudia y Chattanooga School of Language? Want to connect with Claudia and the Chattanooga School of Language?
Chattanooga School of Language is proud to offer classes in 17 different languages, for learners of all ages! You can visit their website if you’re interested in signing up for a class. Choose a Spanish class and you just might end up in a class with Claudia!
Language South aims to create an engaging and supportive community that inspires and develops lifelong learners and lovers of languages and cultures. Click here to learn more about El Pueblo, our summer Spanish Camp for kids and teens!