Spanish Classes Honor Women Everywhere

If the halls of Masters Hall are alive with the sound of music, then one of upper school teacher Roberto Mercedes’ Spanish classes must be in session.

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The month of March was no exception, as students paid tribute to influential women and gender equality through song, art, poetry and performance.

“Incorporating lessons about International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month into the Spanish curriculum is an innovative way of learning,” Mercedes explained. “It is an effort of promoting gender inclusion and awareness about social equality.” 

Students dove right in to create posters about women’s rights and inspirational individuals like Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, former Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi, and LGBTQ+ rights activist Jazz Jennings. During class, they presented impactful videos, shared heartfelt poems and stories, and put on musical performances. 

Karina Mangru ’23 noted that it was a fun way to learn. “It has been a great way to tie worldwide celebrations to the language,” she said. “And the enthusiasm from karaoke is a great added bonus!”
Much of that passion comes from Mercedes himself. Charlie Cooper ’23 said that “his (Mercedes’) energy in class is contagious, and I am always excited for class, especially on celebration days.”

“I’ve never had a teacher focus that much on a subject truly important to me, and I'd like to thank him,” added Madi Brown ’24.

While Clara Kolker ’22 admitted that the pandemic can make activities like this challenging to pull off, she was glad it came together. “I think that having everyone engage with the holiday in such a creative and interactive way was not only fun but very effective!”

Mercedes can’t help but agree. “At the same time, Spanish students learn the target language, have fun, and connect with real-life big issues.”

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