How does the APH teaching philosophy look in your classroom?
My teaching philosophy and practices have evolved a lot over the years, and they continue to do so; my basic tenets, however, have remained fairly consistent throughout my teaching career. They revolve around my belief that all students are unique and special in their own way, that each of them has something valuable to contribute and each deserves to learn and grow in a safe space where she feels valued, loved and respected. I believe that teaching is, above all, a labor of love. My classroom is a joyous space that is student-centered in every way. In order for the acquisition of a foreign language to be successful and long-lasting, the material must be cognitively engaging, in other words, it must be meaningful and relevant to our students’ experiences. I try to give them a choice and a voice in their own learning by designing learning experiences that tap into their values.
My role as a teacher is to allow each child to develop according to her individual learning style, strengths and challenges toward her full potential by making available appropriate methodology and resources in an atmosphere of kindness and acceptance. Not a simple endeavor by any means, but as anything truly valuable, it is worth every effort.
What excites you about The Academy at Penguin Hall?
I am excited to be part of an amazing team of educators who are committed to a holistic approach to the education of girls. By instilling reverence for the natural world, humanitarian values such as compassion, empathy and inclusiveness, and a love of learning, The Academy at Penguin Hall aims to form the strong and confident women of tomorrow who will respond generously, competently and responsibly to the demands of their lives and to the needs of the world.
Share something interesting about yourself.
As a student of linguistics, I have studied many languages, not necessarily to learn how to speak them, but to understand the internal mechanisms that govern their rules. My interest in languages extends to the people who speak them, to their cultures and customs. Since a language is not taught in a vacuum but in the context of its cultures, comparisons of cultural mores often lead to interesting discussions about how our individual experiences and perspectives shape our view of the world and the assumptions we make in our interactions with people of different cultures. In the long term, this leads to a deeper appreciation of cultural diversity.
Alma Barozzi has a BA in Linguistics from State University of N.Y. at Stony Brook and a Masters in Linguistics from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. She earned a Diploma of Advanced Studies (MA equivalent) and a PhD in Applied Linguistics from Universidad Nebrija in Madrid, Spain. She also holds a Diplôme de l’Alliance Française in French Language and Linguistics from the Collège International de Cannes, France.