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Lifelong Learning, English Language Competence, and Inquiry Thinking in Action – Natasha Restr

It is with great pleasure that we recognize a significant achievement of our Grade 8 Real World English teacher and Grade 8C Family Coordinator, Ms. Natasha Restrepo. Natasha has been at Rochester School since July 2018, initially in high school and this year in middle school. While working full-time at Rochester, Natasha recently obtained her undergraduate degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language at the Universidad Santo Tomás, exploring areas such as raising cultural awareness, discourse analysis, and world literature. Completing this five-year program was challenging because, at first, she wasn’t certain that she wanted to dedicate her career to teaching. She had a high level of English language proficiency and had some experience in teaching, which gave her an advantage over her classmates. However, as she progressed in the program, she got positive feedback from her professors and classmates who said that she was meant to be a teacher. She also realized that she enjoyed it.

“It became more of my own challenge…my own personal goal. I struggled between thinking what I wanted to do or go back to Economics or do something else. Nevertheless, I kept going; teaching became so serious and the core of everything I do. It took me longer to finish because I was working and paying for my own studies. January, for example, was always a difficult month to start with five subjects, so I would take only one or two. It was rewarding at the end. I did it. I did it because I wanted to, not because I had to. It didn’t matter how long it took or that it takes a shorter time for other people. It is about the challenges that you are willing to surpass or try to overcome. I waited for that diploma for so long that now that it’s here, I think, ‘What’s next?’ I’m already studying for a Master’s in Bilingual Teaching and Learning Environments and am in my second semester. We are working on a research proposal that will be my dissertation. We want to explore feedback for oral interaction in rural areas during COVID-19. Lots of places around the world are trying to understand the implications of COVID on teaching. We are trying to focus on social factors related to rural areas in Colombia that have very different conditions.â€

When asked to summarize her thoughts and feelings about this achievement into one or two words, Natasha said, “Permanence and pride.â€

Congratulations on your academic achievement and continued professional development with your Master’s degree, Natasha!

Dana Pao Academic Director, Grades 4–12 English Curriculum Director, Grades 4–12

Resumen: Con orgullo reconocemos un logro significativo de nuestra docente de Real World English  de 7º y Coordinadora de Familia de 7ºC, Natasha Restrepo. Empezó enseñando en Rochester Bachillerato Alto en 2018 y cambió a Escuela Media este año. Mientras trabajaba en el colegio, obtuvo su pregrado en Licenciatura en Lenguas Extranjeras Inglés de la Universidad de Santo Tomás, explorando temas como conciencia cultural, análisis de discurso y literatura universal. Fue un reto terminar este programa de cinco años porque, al principio, no sabÃ

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