Faculty Spotlight: Señorita Wareham

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Señorita Wareham

Señorita Wareham, known affectionately by her students as simply señorita, has worked at Sheridan for eight years. She has also volunteered at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, to teach the staff Spanish, for four years. In all her time teaching Spanish, her favorite phrase is “hace cosquillas,” (ah-say, cos-key-ahs)  which means “to tickle,” because it’s fun to say. She enjoys sailing, and wants to learn how to paddle board. Señorita Wareham is a passionate individual who only encourages her students to follow their interests, and do their Spanish homework. 

She describes herself as being “Pensive, because [she thinks] a lot; [she] would say sometimes [she] can be bubbly; and adventurous, [she’s] willing to try anything.” Señorita Wareham wishes to travel as much as she can throughout her life. Specifically Argentina, to learn about the European influences and how to tango; Italy, to try native Italian cuisine; and Africa, to go on a safari, in which she “would like to see the animals, not really up close and personal, [but] in a jeep where I could try to get away.” 

During her first years teaching, she primarily used textbooks in class, but that all changed when she saw how others taught through activities that made students have to engage with the class. Now she uses nursery rhymes to introduce simple Spanish, including La Itsy Bitsy Araña; songs with actions to learn parts of the body; and movies or television shows with English subtitles to hear the speaker, such as Disney/Pixar’s Coco. Compared with the other classes taught at Sheridan, she says teaching Spanish requires this type of hands-on approach for students to see how they can use it in the real world.

Señorita Wareham is the perfect fit for a teacher. She’s passionate, always knows how make her classes fun and interesting, and is patient with students when they are learning new concepts. So you may be surprised to know that she didn’t always want to be a teacher. At first she wanted to go to culinary school because she loved to cook but also considered going into psychology. Ultimately her decision was to pursue teaching because she “Wanted to make an impact in [students’] lives and give a new opportunity to others.” This is also her favorite thing about teaching, as well as the fun she gets to have with her students. Her least favorite thing is all the grading. 

“I get to open up your eyes to a whole new world.””

— Señorita Wareham

Her first experience with Spanish was in high school, because the course was required. During the class, she was able to take a trip to Spain: this was when she really fell in love with the Spanish culture. Remembering back on her high school experience with Spanish, she states, “I didn’t like studying it but I liked the cultural aspect of it.” In college, a foreign language was also required to graduate; so she decided to continue her studies of the culture in which she was interested. After the two required years, she was given the opportunity to study abroad. While she was there, she was able to visit a variety of places and learned how to salsa dance: something which señorita Wareham adores to this day. While on her abroad experience, she “gained an appreciation for the people [and] for the culture through those experiences.” As an affect of her time abroad, she decided to make Spanish a part of her everyday life and inspire others to do the same. Señorita Wareham expresses how studying abroad is much better than being a tourist by stating, “You become a part of the family and learn about the community in a way that you would not if you’re just traveling.”  

Señorita Wareham

Currently, señorita Wareham is learning Italian. Stating that, “It’s a lot more fun when you can go to different cultures and you can speak the language.” She encourages everyone to learn a second language because, “it opens your eyes up to the world and how to interact with people who are different than you.” When you’re learning another language, she suggests finding something you’re passionate about and learn though that. “If you like music, learn it through music. If you like watching movies, learn it through watching movies. You have to interact with people in a way that you enjoy that’s gonna make it desirable for you.” Señorita states, “When you learn a second language, you actually have a different personality based on what languages you’re speaking. I’m an extreme extrovert with speaking Spanish; it’s given me new friends and new experiences.”

“Don’t be afraid to make mistakes because we’re all gonna make mistakes.””

— Señorita Wareham

While señorita encourages everyone to learn a second language, she specifically suggests studying Spanish since it is very applicable today, stating, “There are twenty countries that you can go visit and learn about different cultures, cuisines, and different types of dances, and just go and explore. And a lot of the United States has become bilingual with Spanish.” Señorita Wareham uses Spanish everyday while teaching and to interact with others. Spanish, and learning languages in general, has impacted her in such a significant way that it completely changed her view of the world. She only wishes to give her students the same chance to change their perspective, and that is why she is such a great teacher. Because of what she does everyday, I am inspired to get out of my comfort zone, participate in class more than I ever have before, and learn something I never thought was possible. Thank you, Señorita Wareham, for everything you do.