A seasoned Spanish instructor with ten years of experience, Daniel Newman of Elizabethtown, Derry Township, Pennsylvania began his career in 2013 as a teacher at New Albany High School in New Albany, Indiana. There, he taught Spanish levels I and II, Dual Credit/IB level course of Spanish III, and piloted a Heritage Spanish course. He also oversaw the Spanish Club at New Albany High School during his time there. Daniel Newman spent two years as a Spanish teacher at Northern High School in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, where he taught levels I, II, III, and IV Spanish, as well as sponsored the Spanish Club. This followed his time teaching IB Spanish I and II to over thirty students at Tigard High School in Tigard, Oregon. These students were successful in passing the IB Spanish test and earning the IB diploma. Then, in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, Mr. Newman taught Spanish I and II at the middle and high schools. His most recent position is as a Social Studies teacher for 7th and 8th grade students at GREEN Charter School in Greenville, South Carolina. Daniel Newman has most recently sponsored the Rho Kappa and Jr. Rho Kappa Honors Societies and taught South Carolina History and Geography.

In 2005, Daniel Newman obtained a full International Baccalaureate diploma from Cleveland High School. He then studied History and Latin American studies with a double major at Brandeis University from 2005 to 2009. He had the opportunity to study abroad in Grenada, Spain in the fall of 2007 and Cochabamba, Bolivia in the spring of 2008 thanks to his adventurous nature and good fortune. In 2012, he graduated from Millersville University with a post-baccalaureate degree and teacher certification. Mr. Newman completed a Master of Arts in Spanish degree at the University of Louisville in 2015 to complete his studies.

Daniel Newman has a long history of community service, whether it is in Elizabethtown, Derry Township, Pennsylvania, or any of the other areas he has lived and volunteered his time while pursuing his studies. He coached t-ball for a local league in Derry Township, Pennsylvania, as recently as 2019. Mr. Newman had previously worked for Amigos de las Américas. Dan Newman spent six years split between the Boston, Massachusetts and Portland, Oregon chapters of that organization. Daniel served as a volunteer for Amigos de las Americas in Dajabón, Dominican Republic and Canazas, Panama, instructing schoolchildren in health, nutrition, environmental sustainability, and English. He also contributed to a green building project that refurbished a school and created a covered meeting area. Daniel Newman has consistently shown his commitment to advancing people’s education, whether through his volunteer work or work as a teacher. He exemplifies the notion that a teacher should practice what they preach.

What inspired you to pursue Spanish as a lifelong commitment?

I was inspired to pursue Spanish as a lifelong commitment because of my love for the language and culture. I was fortunate enough during my undergraduate studies to study in Panama and the Dominican Republic. Those experiences opened my eyes to another world that had been unknown to me before then. Being able to communicate with people in their native tongue was an incredibly rewarding experience, and it drove me to continue learning more about Spanish language and culture. It also gave me the opportunity to share what I had learned with others through teaching them Spanish. That is why I chose it as a lifelong commitment – so that I could help other people discover the amazing world of Spanish-speaking countries.

What have been the biggest benefits of learning Spanish and traveling to other countries?

Learning a language has numerous benefits. First, it opens up opportunities for communication that would otherwise be unavailable. It allows for an exchange of ideas, stories, and experiences that most people never get to experience. Secondly, speaking multiple languages increases one’s employability in today’s global economy where bilingualism is increasingly valued. Finally, being able to communicate with others in their native tongue helps foster understanding between cultures, leading to greater acceptance and appreciation of diversity.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about learning a foreign language or traveling abroad?

My advice for anyone considering learning a foreign language is to take the plunge! It can be intimidating at first, but once you learn the basics, it gets easier and more enjoyable. Also, don’t be afraid to make mistakes – that’s part of the process of learning. As for traveling abroad, my advice is to research as much as possible before your trip so that you know what to expect when you get there. Make sure to also travel with an open mind and keep an eye out for any cultural nuances that might go unnoticed otherwise. Finally, use every opportunity while on your trip to practice speaking the language – it will help both your understanding of the culture and your comfort level when speaking.

 What have been the biggest challenges and rewards of teaching Spanish?

The biggest challenge of teaching Spanish is helping students get over their fear of making mistakes. Many people are intimidated by foreign languages, so it requires a lot of patience and support to help them learn. Additionally, because different cultures speak differently, it can be difficult to teach someone all the nuances that come along with speaking a language correctly. On the other hand, watching my students’ progress has been one of the biggest rewards for me as an instructor. Seeing someone go from knowing nothing to being able to converse comfortably in Spanish is incredibly satisfying, and I’m proud to know that I had a part in helping them reach that point.

What advice would you give to someone considering teaching Spanish?

My advice for anyone considering teaching Spanish is to be prepared to put in the time and effort necessary to become an effective teacher. As with any field, being knowledgeable and well-versed in your subject matter is essential for teaching Spanish. Additionally, having a good understanding of the culture behind the language can help you better understand how students learn and how to effectively teach the language. Also, don’t forget that teaching is more than just imparting knowledge – it should also be about helping others discover new things about themselves and their potential. With this in mind, teachers should strive to create a welcoming atmosphere where all students feel safe and accepted while learning. Finally, have patience and enjoy the journey – teaching Spanish can be both incredibly rewarding and great fun.

What has been your most memorable experience while teaching or traveling?

One of my most memorable experiences while teaching was when I was able to help a student who had never spoken Spanish before become proficient in just a few months. After spending countless hours together, this student came to me one day with a huge smile on their face and told me that they had participated in an entire conversation entirely in Spanish. Seeing how proud they were of themselves and knowing that I had played a part in helping them get there was immensely satisfying for me as an instructor.

What tips would you give someone who is trying to learn Spanish on their own?

My advice for anyone learning Spanish on their own is to take advantage of all the resources available. Today, there are so many online tools, apps, and websites that can help with language learning – take full advantage of them! Additionally, try to immerse yourself in the language as much as possible by listening to Spanish music and watching films or TV shows in Spanish with subtitles. Finally, don’t be afraid to make mistakes – the only way to learn a language is by actively speaking it, so don’t hesitate to push yourself out of your comfort zone and practice as much as you can. With consistent effort and dedication, anyone can become fluent in Spanish!

What do you love most about teaching Spanish?

What I love most about teaching Spanish is the joy of watching my students become fluent in a language that was once foreign to them. Seeing their faces light up when they can communicate with someone in another country, or understand something they wouldn’t have been able to before – it’s these moments that make me proud and remind me why I am so passionate about teaching. Additionally, I enjoy being able to help my students explore the rich history and culture of Spain while learning the language. It’s really an amazing thing to witness! All in all, teaching Spanish gives me immense satisfaction because it allows me to inspire my students through knowledge and provide them with an opportunity to grow.

I also believe that learning Spanish can be the catalyst for a life-changing experience. Not only does it open up a world of communication and understanding, but it also provides an opportunity to travel and explore other countries and cultures with greater ease. Learning Spanish gives you the freedom to discover things that you would have never known before, which is why I think it’s so important for everyone to take the time to learn this beautiful language..


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