The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas

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St. Mark's School of Texas
10600 Preston Road Dallas, TX 75230
The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas

ReMarker

The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas

ReMarker

New teacher spotlight – Maria Russo

Maria+Russo+teaches+her+lower+school+Spanish+class.
PHOTO/ WINSTON LIN
Maria Russo teaches her lower school Spanish class.

Maria Russo came to Dallas from Argentina 18 years ago, where she had to leave her home and her family. Coming to the states without knowing an ounce of English, she quickly learned the new language and began teaching lower school Spanish at the Alcuin School. Now she has come here to teach lower school Spanish.

After years of teaching at a Montessori school, the difference in interactions she has had here are unparalleled. However, coming to St. Mark’s is a totally new experience for her. She found some elements of her previous school were counterintuitive at times, and that the system here makes it easier to teach.

“Over there, the classes cover three different ages in the same group,” Russo said. “But at St. Marks, each grade is taught separately so everyone is on the same level.”

She was impressed by the students’ capability to adapt easily to different circumstances.

“The reputation and level of the students are totally different, and as an educator, I think we all look for that,” Russo said.

Additionally, Russo believes the opportunities and resources that the school provides encourages a much better learning environment. She integrated more online resources, such as 3d models and interactive programs, to make teaching significantly more robust.

“I see the great opportunity to create a collaborative project with other areas,” Russo said. “For example, we are going to do something for Dia De Los Muertos with technology and with the math teacher.”

Taking over lower school Spanish meant filling in the shoes of the past teacher, Emma Noble. She knows it is no easy feat, so she follows Noble’s program and aims to make it her own by integrating more helpful visuals and technology.

“Emma used a program with visual and manipulative items, so I followed her in that way,” Russo said. “I’ve also introduced technology games that also help to teach.”

Coming to a new school doesn’t just mean integrating in with other teachers—it also means you have to be known by the students. This can be particularly challenging, however Russo has felt welcomed by faculty and students alike.

“It’s amazing, all the respect and kindness,” Russo said. “I’ve only been here for a month and students turn and greet me in the hallways, that’s amazing.”

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About the Contributor
Christopher Guffey, Staff Writer