Walking in my first day of Spanish three, I adored the bright colors and the map of Spanish countries on the wall. I knew my teacher adored her job and the language. I then met Senorita Sisson, now Senorita Bouska. She had red hair, glasses, and biggest smile. “Hola, chicos.” I knew this was going to be an interesting year.
The way she taught was something to be desired. She had non-traditional teaching methods; homework was switched to projects. This allowed me to be creative with the language and use it in a way I enjoyed. My love for the language grew. She took something as simple as daily trivia, and made it something everyone looked forward to. I won a pin that reads “Yo no Fui” meaning “It wasn’t me.” This reminds me of her laid back, charismatic energy. It reminds me to not take life so seriously. Her youthful energy made her a teacher I could relate to.
She also made sure everyone knew they were in a safe space. She talked about pronouns, and how she respected those who wanted to be called a different name or have different pronouns. She wanted her classroom to be a place of no judgement—a safe place to learn. And this also made me look up to her, because allows kids to be comfortable with themselves. And that is something every teacher should strive for.
A lesson that impacted me most was, her reading The Giving Tree. While reading the words, I could tell it meant something to her. She then proceeded to show us her giving tree tattoo. She spoke: “I need to remember to be appreciative of my privileges.” She said she got that tattoo to try and remember to “always give back to those who have given much.” And it made me realize that, even though lots of bad things have happened in my life, I should appreciate what I have. And I should also try to give back to those who have given me the most.
The last time I saw her was when I went back to my old high school for homecoming. She was working at the check-in booth and became ecstatic when she saw me. She gave me a huge hug and asked how I’ve been. It was so good to know even after two years I was still remembered by her, and she still cared to know how I was doing.
She was one of the most impactful teachers I've had, and she truly cared about every student who walked through her classroom door and would never forget who walked out.