Embracing Change: A Colombian Teacher’s Journey to PHS

Taken by Caden Kubitz
Taken by Caden Kubitz

Change is something people often stay away from—preferring to stick with what they know and avoid making uncomfortable choices. No one knows the frightening feeling of change better than Pinnacle High School (PHS) Spanish teacher Diana Vera. taught Spanish 1-2 for the past two years at PHS. Far from her first teaching experience, she spent the first fifteen years teaching in her home country of Colombia. 

“There are many differences between education systems between the two countries,¨ Vera said.

She explained that in Colombia, students and teachers experience more variation in their daily. For example, in Colombia, schools have more breaks throughout the day, allowing teachers and students the time to go home to eat lunch and return. 

“Here, like the cultural shock, for me, it was really, really challenging,” said Vera. “Culturally, we are very different and the students from Colombia are very different.”

While these may seem like minor differences, she expressed that the stricter schedules in America have been difficult to adjust to. However, The opportunity for her son was far greater in America than in Colombia, so despite her love for her home country and culture, she made a drastic change in her life to help support her son’s future. 

“I wanted to give my son a new perspective of the world,” she said.

Submitted by Diana Vera

Beyond her life-changing experience, her love for teaching always remained constant for Vera

 “I enjoy sharing with teenagers and trying to see how they see life and how I can contribute for them to have a better life or future,” said Vera.

She advises anyone wanting to be a teacher to keep pushing forward.

“It’s worth it,” she said. 

Due to her temporary visa for teachers expiring, Vera will be moving back to Colombia at the end of this school year.

“I’ve decided to come back home, retake my job as an English teacher there and spend some more years with my parents,” said Vera.

Despite the busy experience of moving Vera still appreciates the experience for not only her but her son as well.

“I would like my son to reunite with his friends maybe in two years,” said Vera.

She enjoyed seeing students progress in learning Spanish for the first time, and those lessons provided some of her favorite moments as a teacher. The progression and relationships she forms with her students are special moments that make everything feel worthwhile. She and her students learned through her time, and although she leaves after this school year, her experience and impact will be remembered.


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