This article was written by Willow Mashkuri who is a junior in the Journalism class.
“I fought it tooth and nail.”
Philip Montenegro never wanted to be a teacher as a child. Each factor in his life led him to teaching. He majored in Art and Spanish. His hope was to become a full time art teacher, but when applying to jobs- he didn’t find anything. He didn’t think about becoming a Spanish teacher until he came to U32. “The people here especially made me want to teach because of the people that I interacted with.”
Philip lived in Spain and found his love for the language and culture with the three years he spent in Madrid. While in Spain he taught English to high school students.
He uses his personal experiences in his teaching. Philip told a story about trying to order a sandwich in Spanish, failing, and getting laughed at from the restaurant. Philips’ whole outlook is to encourage his students to try and make mistakes and learn from them, like he did.
“Embrace those mistakes, and if you do mess up, have fun with it,” he said, “you know, make a joke of it!”
Philip didn’t learn Spanish growing up. He grew up in Boston but moved to Claremont, New Hampshire. His grandfather moved to the United States from Almendral Chile but didn’t want the family to go through the hardship of the language barrier, so he insisted they spoke in English. His mother was an English teacher and his dad a Sculptor. His dad’s profession influenced his major in Art.
Philip took over for Adam French in 2017 as a long term sub. He found his love for U32 and took the opportunity of working here 5 years later becoming a new Spanish 2 teacher. Students respond well to his teaching methods and his friendly personality. With teaching kids from all over, the one piece of advice Philip would give each of them is this metaphor.
“I used to skateboard a lot and that is probably the best metaphor for learning in general,” he said, “because it’s 99% falling and beating the crap out of your body and 1% landing the trick and feeling successful.”