Bienvenida, Senora Caballero!

As a new addition to the community, Language teacher Gloria Caballero-Roca brings years of experience to the table.

Inside Caballero's classroom, the walls are decorated with colorful pictures from both her Spanish and French classes.

Cassidy Polga

Inside Caballero's classroom, the walls are decorated with colorful pictures from both her Spanish and French classes.

Cassidy Polga, Editor-in-Chief

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“Life has so many choices, and there are so many ways you can solve one problem. That’s what I would like to teach the students.” So says MacDuffie’s newest hire, part-time French and Spanish teacher Gloria Caballero-Roca, who has picked up many more pearls of wisdom on her travels across the globe.

Born and raised in Cuba, Caballero moved to Massachusetts when she was 32, but she doesn’t stay in one place for very long. She is just back from a year doing research in Spain with her husband and their two adult sons, and she has resided in Northampton for the past two months.

Caballero is currently working on her PhD in Women’s and Gender Studies from a consortium in Spain, and she is also finishing her second dissertation, which is focused on the Artistic Representation of Afro-Cuban Religiosities Through the Short Story and Paintings. Her first degree was a double major in Latin American and Portuguese Literature and Linguistics. She “is a researcher,” and she says that her experiences have taught her invaluable lessons both in and outside the classroom.

In addition to her obvious laurels as a student of her trade, Caballero also brings an impressive amount of experience as a teacher to the table. She has been teaching college-level courses intermittently since she was 23, in her native country. Most recently, she was a visiting professor at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. Caballero learned English in college to work as an English-Spanish interpreter, and also speaks French, Portuguese, a “little” German, and has a fair grasp of Polish. She learned Portuguese because she “fell in love with a Portuguese writer, Jose Saramago,” who was the subject of her first dissertation.

Caballero hopes to translate her knowledge into valuable lessons for her students, in addition to teaching them the basics of French and Spanish. She says that her studies have “unveiled so many prejudices” in her own life and she encourages students to actively engage with material and languages so that they might feel the same way. An important goal for Caballero is ensuring “that girls know they have the right to speak.”

Most of all, she wants each of her students to “think about what you bring to your class, and say ‘well, this is my life experience, this is how I see it,’” and learn to respect what everyone else brings to a situation as well. With Caballero’s example leading the way, it’s hard to imagine any of her students being anything less than she wants them to be.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated that Caballero taught at Heirloom College. She was a visiting professor at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. The Magnet regrets the error.

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Bienvenida, Senora Caballero!