Mitchell Voth, Education

Mitchell Voth with studentsMy education as an undergraduate of Spanish didn’t feel complete upon graduation—I wasn’t satisfied. I knew so much more existed for me to learn and experience in the vast realm that we call “Spanish.” No, a diploma wasn’t good enough, and I wanted more. Of all the things I learned as a Spanish major at KU, complacency was not one of them.

This is possibly the best thing that one can obtain from the course of an education: the desire to know more. The Spanish major advanced my ability to evaluate Spanish-American colonial literature and contextualize Mexican theatrical works, but I wanted to develop a personal identity with a Hispanic culture that went beyond the classroom. In fact, I felt I owed it to my Spanish education and to myself to dive into one of the many Hispanic cultures about which I had been taught.

That sense of responsibility has led me to dive into the culture of Roatán, Honduras, and I am making my splash as a 3rd grade teacher at Children’s Palace Bilingual School. Roatán is a small island, but an interesting mix of languages and cultures thrives within these 90 square miles. I live in Los Fuertes, a densely Hispanic area. As a suburbian kid, I could consider Los Fuertes to be a rundown place with its shacks and street dogs. But as a suburbian kid, I value the potential for self-redefinition in a place like this and appreciate the reality it holds.

My work as a 3rd grade bilingual teacher yields a differ-ent type of reality. In fact, it is surreal. I studied Spanish and Journalism—not Elementary Education. I learn how to teach as my students learn what I teach. It’s scary. I can’t help but feel inept at times. However, this sense of insecurity is what I wanted—the opposite of complacency. And every day that I improve my teaching, I also increase my intimacy with the Spanish language and one of its many cultures. I can’t complain, and I’m striving so that my future students can’t complain either.

♥ Every Donation Matters.

Give to Spanish & Portuguese

2019 Call for Papers

Call for Papers

Calendar of Events
KU Today
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times