Becoming a teacher for one of the top high schools in Florida is easier said than done. Señora Gallesi, our newest Spanish teacher, is from Peru and moved to the United States at the age of 16.
Moving to a new country “was exciting and scary. It was exciting because it was a new experience and in a Spanish-speaking country you always hear about the United States and you see all these TV shows and you’re curious about it, but then again, it was scary because it was new and I was only 16 years old,” Gallesi said. She remembers getting lost on the subways of New York City on her first day of school. The language barrier did not help much either.
However, Mrs. Gallesi had the help of many of the teachers at the school as she said, “many teachers helped me to acclimate myself to the new culture and language. These teachers really helped me out, so I wanted to do the same for my students. I want to help them to not only, of course, to pass my class and to get a good grade, but maybe to be there if they have questions.”
After learning English and Spanish, Gallesi lit a spark for learning many other languages. “I speak four languages. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, and French. It’s on my bucket list to learn German, Arabic, and Chinese,” Gallesi said. She also traveled abroad in high school to Italy, Spain, and France.
Gallesi said about the experience of being a new teacher by saying, “I have one word: overwhelmed. I love it. I was very excited to get the opportunity to teach here at Suncoast but it’s very overwhelming because you have to learn many new things.”
Gallesi said, “It’s been great (teaching at Suncoast) and I have to share a story. When I was interviewing, I was scared about discipline and cell phone usage because all the youth are on their phones and things like that. So having said that I was very concerned about that, but everyone is so compliant when I say, ‘Guys, take your phones out for Google Classroom,’ and ‘Guys please put your phones away.’ I love that sense of community, how you respect the teacher and how you respect yourself and each other, and you don’t see this in many high schools. That’s really outstanding.”
A teacher’s main job is to teach, so it is no surprise that Gallesi wants to teacher her students “to not give up. Things are going to be challenging. Not only rolling your r’s or knowing your conjugations, but as you move on in life, graduate, and pursue your dreams. You’re going to find obstacles, so if you feel defeated and you feel that you can not do it even before you tried, don’t give up. So, I really want my students to try, make mistakes, and learn from them and see that they can do it.”