My name is Sandra Der Mesropian and I am your child’s Spanish teacher this year.
I started teaching in 1990 as a first-grade bilingual teacher and then when I finished my single-subject credential began teaching at the high school level in 1991. I taught at Roosevelt High School my alma mater, then at Whittier High School. After my daughters were born I moved to Crescenta Valley High School in 1997 to be closer to home. I came to CV as a Spanish and English teacher. Throughout my career, I have had the pleasure of teaching 9th grade English, 11th grade English, and English for Language Learners. Presently, I teach Spanish 5-6, AP Spanish Language and Culture, and AP Spanish Literature and Culture.
Both of my daughters attended CV and graduated from here and then continued with their post-secondary education following different paths. One attended Glendale Community College and transferred to Vanguard University where she earned her Bachelor’s degree, the other attended Cal State San Marcos earned her Bachelor’s Degree, and is currently attending USC working on her MBA.
Although I have been teaching for many years, each year is different and refreshing in its own way. The courses are the same in name but the perspective the students share, their experience, and their effort is what makes them dynamic This year is beginning the most different. It is distant-learning which requires a new approach to teaching and to studying. Nonetheless, I look forward to creating a positive learning environment and moving the students forward in their language acquisition.
So let’s begin with Spanish 5-6:
We will continue to use Spanish in our classroom setting. The goal is to develop the students’ communication skills in both the written and spoken forms. Sharpen their listening and reading comprehension and improve their grammar and vocabulary accuracy, and broaden their understanding of the Hispanic culture which encompasses 21 different countries.
AP Spanish Language and Culture:
Focuses on the use of the language. Students work with authentic readings, view and listen to authentic material. The sources are materials that would be printed in a Spanish speaking country for Spanish speaking citizens. We are no longer working with material developed for students who are learning Spanish. Rather, we are working on fluency. Our goal is to have the students think in Spanish, speak in Spanish, and express themselves not only in casual conversations but in formal settings as well. Students will be able to give presentations and write persuasive essays on any of the 6 themes the course is framed around.
AP Spanish Literature and Culture:
Is a survey class of the literature, history, and art of the Spanish speaking world. We read 38 literary works that cover all genres; short-stories, poetry, essays, plays, and novels. The course moves through these pieces in chronological order from the medieval times to contemporary literature. Students analyze the literature, discuss the historical context, and compare the works to visual arts. It is a great curriculum where students discover that although times have changed our world still struggles with some of the same issues and humans have similar doubts, fears, and questions as those from the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.