Specialist Spotlight: Señora Claudia Zurek

For the next several weeks in The Trailblazer, we will be featuring a ”Specialist Spotlight,” focusing on all the wonderful ways our specialists are inspiring our students on the Lower Campus. This week, we are featuring our Spanish Specialist, Señora Claudia.

Many of you are now, no doubt, familiar with the top pop song, los paisas hablan Espanol, taught by Señora Zurek in Spanish class, in which students have been learning about the 21 countries where the primary language is Spanish. Click here to enjoy and sing along as a family. The joy in the classroom when singing such songs is palpable, and these instances are emblematic of Señora Zurek’s dynamic approach to Spanish instruction. 
Señora Zurek engages students in all manner of learning within her classroom, mixing activities, actions, and exercises multiple times during her lessons. When it is time to learn words of action, students mimic the target vocabulary by performing them. When learning vocabulary for parts of the body, they also actively go over la cabeza, los umeros, numeros los pies, and so on.
Students are constantly in motion and engaged, transitioning to a myriad of activities, including the use of their textbooks, Vivamos Espanol, an incredible resource that Señora Zurek created. Students love working with them, as you can tell from the pictures, and the series is capturing our students’ imaginations and interests.
The primary grade students have been enjoying the picture book Pepe and the Parade, in which the main character is learning about how different cultures celebrate Hispanic heritage in a parade.  The 5th Grade created a research project written in Spanish during this Hispanic Heritage Month, highlighting U.S. citizens of Hispanic heritage who have contributed positively to their country. Additionally, students in multiple grade levels are voluntarily trying to learn all 21 countries on their own accord, proudly reciting them by rote in front of their encouraging classmates. 
In all the classes, enthusiastic hands always shoot up when Señora Zurek leads the class in group games, answering vocabulary and grammatical questions. Illustrative of her teaching style, she builds complex Spanish sentences from simple ones, with each student contributing great participation and encouragement for their fellow classmates. Given her experience of 20 years and the creation of her own textbook series and resources, she makes clear what the efficacy of genuine engagement is and the joy that comes from having fun while learning. 

Click here to get a glimpse inside Lower School Spanish!
Señora Zurek, gracias por tu maravilloso programa y todas las maneras en que tú estás celebrando el mes de herencia Hispana!
Lower School: 11052 Independence Avenue
Middle and Upper School: 20801 Rinaldi Street
Chatsworth, CA 91311  | 818.882.8121
Sierra Canyon School is a private, independent, non-sectarian, co-educational, college preparatory school for students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12 located in Chatsworth, California. The highly cosmopolitan campus community is reflective of the Greater Los Angeles area and the world at large. Students are empowered to realize their greatest creative, ethical, intellectual and physical promise through small class sizes, a diverse student-teacher culture and a family-like environment.