Spotlight on New Teachers: Kaylen Sanor

Megan Brady, OFLA Beginning Teacher Committee Chair
Spanish Teacher, Northwest Local Schools

The OFLA Beginning Teacher Committee is working hard to connect with new teachers and to support them in becoming excellent, innovative, resourceful, and long-lasting world language teachers. Our goal is to provide a network of resources, strategies, and tools for new teachers. We want new teachers to know that they are not alone and that OFLA is here to help them. To this end, we will be interviewing new teachers throughout the year and highlighting them in The Cardinal. Kaylen Sanor is a Spanish teacher at Alliance High School in Alliance, Ohio. This is her first year teaching Spanish.

  1. What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?

I really enjoy making connections with my students.

  1. What made you want to teach?

During the summer of 2018, I studied abroad in Costa Rica originally to fulfill a Spanish minor requirement at my university (I was majoring in Early Childhood Education at that point in time). I loved that experience so much! After that summer I only needed one or two more Spanish classes at my university, and I definitely was not ready to move on from studying Spanish. The passion and enthusiasm for the language I saw in my teachers in Costa Rica and at my university helped me to decide to switch my major to Spanish Education for the fall of 2018.  I wanted to share the language with as much enthusiasm as they did!

  1. Who has had the biggest impact on your teaching and why?

My professor Dr. Barb Schmidt-Rinehart has taught me all I know about teaching Spanish as a second language. She was the one who introduced me to second language acquisition, how to teach in the target language as much as possible, and so much more. She was always there to support me through my four years at my university.

  1. What is one thing you learned from another teacher that helped you this year? 

 At the beginning of the year, our school’s instructional coach gave me some tips on how to keep healthy boundaries between my work and personal life, such as only doing school work at school. Keeping boundaries has helped me better balance my life and has reduced my overall stress.

  1. What is one thing that you have struggled with as a new teacher?  

I have perfectionist tendencies and can be very hard on myself when I make mistakes (and trust me, I have made a lot of them).  Even though this allows me to do a lot of self-reflection, I have struggled with not being overly-critical of my performance as a teacher. 

  1. What advice do you have for new teachers?

Always strive to do your best, but don’t be too critical of yourself as a new teacher. Give yourself grace and room to grow. Take one day at a time, and never feel guilty for taking a break every now and then.

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