Erin Gilbert learned her first spanish verb conjugations in Hogeter classroom 201; several years later, she’s returned to the same room to teach those exact concepts to a new set of eager students.
“They [my students] remind me what it’s like to be sitting in the desks and not standing up in front of the classroom, ” Gilbert said. “That life is also happening at the same time and that we can’t help that … That’s one of the reasons I care so deeply about creating a community … At the end of the day were going to learn spanish, but I want my students to feel that they are cared for.”
After graduating from Tam, Gilbert got her bachelor’s in spanish language and community from UCLA and her teaching credential from Sonoma state.
“I slowly realised that I’m a person who really loves social interaction and since language is about interaction it felt right to continue studying that … The combination of getting to know other people their food, and their music just added up perfectly for me,” she said when asked why spanish interests her.
When she’s not teaching, Gilbert loves visiting new places and trying a wide variety of outdoor activities. She hopes to extends her love of exploration to her students during a Costa Rica trip in 2019.
“I am really excited to recruit some Redhawks to come with me and on that trip,” Gilbert said. “ It’s just all adventure. It’s hiking, zipline, horseback riding, swimming, seeing animals, and waterfalls. It’s an incredible trip.”
She previously taught at George Washington high school in San Francisco and spent three years in Spain teaching English at an adult school. Now, Gilbert has spanish ½ and ⅚ classes.
“The biggest thing that I empathize in my classroom besides Spanish, is helping and supporting my students to be the best human beings possible,” said Gilbert. “ … I hope that they feel like they have learned not only Spanish but responsibility, empathy, and compassion. And, hopefully, they are inspired to continue down that path.”