Teaching and Travel

Hannah Webb, Staff Writer

At least two years of the same foreign language class are required at Keller High School in order to graduate. Whether it’s Spanish, German, French, or American Sign Language, every student that walks the halls of KHS is or has been in one of these foreign language classes. But just because the classes are required doesn’t mean they have to be a drag. For senior Zoё Schneider, foreign language classes are just the opposite.

Schneider hopes to some day travel to Spain and teach there, so for her, taking Spanish classes is a necessity.

“I decided I wanted to go to Spain sometime between the end of my junior year and this past summer,” Schneider said. Her brother’s friend went to Spain and had only good things to say, so she decided to consider her love of Spanish as more than just a hobbyーa career choice.

Schneider first began taking Spanish classes in seventh grade when she took conversational Spanish, and she is currently in AP Spanish 5. She sees the language as a challenge, which is part of what fuels her love for it.

“I actually couldn’t stand Spanish classes until I took Spanish 3 with Cisne, and she changed my whole perspective of the class, language, and culture,” Schneider said.

And that’s exactly what has pushed Schneider to want to teach even moreーher own experiences with teachers throughout her school career. She’s noticed that while some teachers just seem to show up to work every day to get paid, some truly have a passion for what they do. She believes those teachers can change the students’ experience in a class and help them learn to share a passion for the subject. For Schneider, KHS teachers Misty Swan (known as Cisne to her students) and Laura Davis have been those teachers in her life that have allowed her to share a passion for learning.

Those that make up the other half of the classroom machine have also made Schneider want to pursue teaching: the kids.

“I love the pure joy that kids always seem to have. Whether it’s when I’m on mission trips, working at church, or at my Ready, Set, Teach! field site, the one common factor these kids have is their joy, and it’s so contagious,” Schneider said.

Spanish has also rewarded Schneider and given back to her in ways she never would have thought it would when she first began taking classes. She believes Spanish has made her a better listener and helped her learn to enjoy people’s stories, lives and the things that can be learned from them.

“One time on mission trip there was this lady whose house we were working on, but she could only speak Spanish. I was able to listen to her and her wisdom that she was giving us. It allowed me to hear her story and what she was struggling with at the time. It was such a blessing,” Schneider said.

While she may not know exactly where she wants to travel in Spain, the certainty of the love Schneider has for the Spanish language is truly inspiring. Schneider’s passion serves as a lesson in what it means to have a true love for what you do for anyone who hears her talk about it.