Monday, December 04, 2006

December Featured Faculty: Judy Meza

Editor's Note: Meet Spanish Faculty Judy Meza. As is our practice, we asked Judy to share her bio with us. Thanks, Judy :)

I never had to think too much about my future career. As a child, I would get my 4 younger sisters and brothers (my older sister would have no part of this) together and teach them whatever I was currently studying in school. Strangely, they were usually an attentive audience. My most beloved childhood possessions were my chalkboard and multi-colored chalk. Since then I have always been drawn to being part of a learning community, whether as a student or as a teacher (in both cases, you're learning).

I have always been fascinated by different cultures and languages. I began to study Spanish in elementary school and immediately it became my favorite subject. When I was 14, I spent six weeks in Spain with a summer abroad program, and my desire to travel and experience other cultures was ignited.

After finishing my BA, I continued my studies in Spanish language and literature, and this led me to spend a year in Spain, where I took classes at the University of Barcelona. During my time in Barcelona, I began teaching English in companies. After returning to the U.S., I earned a Master's Degree in Linguistics, and soon after completing it, I moved to Puerto Rico, where I taught English to college students and Spanish to Americans working there. Since that time, I have taught English and/or Spanish in Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, Houston and Denver. Since I moved to Colorado eight years ago, I’ve worked at Red Rocks Community College, Arapahoe CC, Metro, and for the past three years, CCC Online. I love teaching Spanish and sharing this passion with others. Teaching English gives me the opportunity to work with people from all over the world. Especially in the current political climate, I am thrilled and inspired to see students from all different cultures and religions bond in the classroom community and support and learn from each other—a microcosm of what would be nice to see happen on a grand scale.

For me, the key to a successful class lies in promoting a classroom atmosphere that is mutually respectful and supportive, one that is encouraging, engaging and fun, and one in which learning is as valuable an outcome as progress toward a degree.

I have to admit that, like many of you, I don’t have much free time these days. When I do, I enjoy taking online classes, reading, and spending time in the mountains. I would love to learn another language and to play a new musical instrument. Some day!

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