My name is Denise Lopes. I have been teaching for 9 years and learning new languages really fascinates me. I speak five languages and I would love to acquire some new ones. The languages I speak are Caboverdean Creole, Portuguese, Spanish, English and some Spanish. I am currently working on my Master's in Applied Linguistics at Umass Boston and will finish in May.
I am also the Vice President and Events Manager for the nonprofit organization Our Children, Our Future, Inc. childrenofcaboverde.org
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth - Bachelors, Business Information Systems
University of Massachusetts-Boston - Masters, Applied Linguistics
What is your teaching philosophy?
My Teaching Philosophy In today’s society a teacher’s job is not only to provide basic education while shaping the mind for logical and abstract thinking but also to be a solid, stable mentor in students’ lives. Teaching is very important to me because it gives me an opportunity to mold a child’s future. Education is power, and through my teaching I am able to give my students the tools necessary to succeed. Every single child in my classroom deserves and has the right to an exceptional education. Preparing students to make a difference in the world also includes assisting them in discovering who they are as individuals. In my classroom I focused on four main aspects, which include: 1. Student centered 2. Active learning 3. Student interaction 4. Critical thinking. My teaching involves student-centered activities where students are always interacting with each other. To me it is very important for students to take responsibility for their learning. Active learning is always happening and students have to be thinking critically. Letting my students struggle and work together when discussing a topic gives me a chance to assess how everyone is doing. In a language classroom everything the students do is being assessed. Participation plays a big role on how I assess my students and how I adjust my teaching. With a 90% target language goal, students have to be constantly interacting with each other. They work on presentations, plays and activities where everyone’s input is important to the learning. During the group discussions students need to participate and give their opinions. As an educator, I believe that learning should be taking place in every classroom during every lesson. The main focus of education is to create individuals who not only strive for excellence for themselves but for their peers and their community.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I will get to know the student and find out what the student needs help with. By knowing the student need I will be able to design my instruction.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By allowing the student to take risks and make mistakes. My job is to make the student comfortable and enjoy learning.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By keeping in mind why the student wants to learn or needs help with a particular subject. I will make sure I am teaching at the student's comfort level and making the learning fun.