In the third of a series profiling new ISP faculty for 2021-22, the spotlight is on Middle School Spanish Teacher Ms. Marta Aliaga (above, second right with fellow ‘newbie’ Ms. Rebecca Clark) who joins ISP from teaching at an International School in her home town of Valencia, Spain. Ms. Aliaga holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Valencia most recently completed a Master’s Degree in International Education and Bilingualism from Camilo José Cela University in Madrid. Ms. Aliaga also brings experience of working in international schools in South Africa and the United States to ISP.
Where in the world have you come from?
I am joining ISP from Valencia, Spain, the place I call “home”. It was very special and exciting to teach in my hometown and to be reunited with my family and friends after many years of being away from home. Before that, I taught in South Africa and San Francisco, California. These experiences were very enriching personally and professionally and they helped me gain a deeper understanding of different cultures and customs.
Obviously the last two school years have been exceptional – but what positive experiences do you bring to being an ISP educator?
Even though these last two exceptional years have been difficult for everybody I believe that we can always focus on the good and find the positive in every situation. I believe that these last two years helped us learn many things; not just about teaching and learning, but about the importance of building community and making the sense of belonging a top priority. I am very looking forward to connecting with my students and creating a safe environment where we can all learn from each other. We are very fortunate to be able to be back at school together!
Why ISP? What influenced your decision to join the ISP Community and come to the city of Prague?
As I was learning more about ISP it was just clear to me that the school’s mission resonated with my teaching philosophy. I especially loved the teaching and learning approach and I can’t wait for my students and I to learn alongside each other. Moreover, the ISP community is wonderful. I was welcomed in such a warm and caring way – it felt like home!
Prague is such a beautiful city! There is always so much to do. I love nature, sports, traveling and trying out new restaurants and this city just makes it easy. A big bonus for me is, living in Europe I get to be closer to home, (Spain), as I have been living in different continents for the last six years.
What has been your favourite learning moment from your short time at ISP so far?
My students have been helping me in many ways and teaching me many things already – from helping me to not get lost around our school to teaching me the basics in Czech (even though they love giggling at my attempts to get the pronunciation correctly :)) Also, they have also been assisting me with IT issues. ISP students rock!
What have you learned about the city of Prague so far, what are your initial impressions?
I learnt that it is very easy to get around the city – I love Prague’s public transportation system! Especially after living in South Africa or California, where you basically needed a car to get to most places. I love Prague’s nature and I love finding out about the best sunset view spots. I also learned by getting lost around the city that every corner has its history and I just love the mystery and mysticism of Prague. I think that you can feel the history and travel through time. I can’t wait to continue learning and exploring more!
What are your hopes and dreams for your students and you personally this year?
I hope that my students develop that curiosity for learning languages and learning in general and I am very excited to share that learning journey with them. I have already learnt many things from my students and I am looking forward to continuing learning many more. I also look forward to trying out and learning new things and getting out of my comfort zone. I highly believe that our growth zone is different from our comfort zone!