Teacher of the week 14: Heather Doan
Teachers are real life superheroes. Every day, CHS teachers touch the lives of thousands of students, and their work extends beyond the boundaries of the classroom. To show appreciation for these teachers, the Crier asked students to identify teachers that have made a real impact in their lives. A new student and teacher will be featured each week.
This week, Jenna Pollastrini, ‘19, nominated Spanish teacher Heather Doan.
Pollastrini: I look forward to Spanish class with Ms. Doan every day. Because Ms. Doan is always cheerful and has a positive outlook on life, I am always happy to end my day with her, no matter how many new verb conjugations I must learn. I used to dread going to Spanish class, but now that Mrs. Doan is my teacher, I look forward to going all the way to AP Spanish my senior year.
Crier: What made you interested in studying and teaching Spanish?
Doan: I became interested in Spanish after I spent my senior year of high school in Bolivia. It all started when I visited my cousins in St. Louis one day. There was a girl staying with them from Finland, and I thought that was crazy. How can she stay away from her parents for so long? Eventually, though, I thought it would be interesting to learn about a new culture. My cousin went to Germany when I was a junior, and I signed up to go my senior year. That’s when I really immersed myself in Spanish culture, and I knew I wanted to teach it since I love kids.
Crier: What was it like living in a foreign country for a whole year without your family?
Doan: It was certainly a unique experience. To me, it was very exciting to see how other people lived because Bolivia is so different from America. I got to see things that I wouldn’t normally see back at home. For example, I saw a lot of poverty in Bolivia. Along with Bolivia, I even lived in Spain for eight months because I taught English to business executives there. Again, the culture was amazing. Both of these experiences along with my upbringing have made me very open-minded.
Crier: What do you like to do at home with your family?
Doan: I am a single mother by choice, and I adopted my daughter when she was seven months old. Most of my time is dedicated to her, and we do just about everything together. We go to the theater and watch musicals. My daughter also loves horseback riding, so we’ve been doing a lot more of that lately. She even plays the violin and dances. We also go to the movies and read books together.
Crier: What kind of movies and books do you like?
Doan: A lot of the movies I like are very old. Some of my favorite movies are “The Graduate,” “A Few Good Men,” and “Bull Durham,” which is a movie about baseball. I grew up watching sports, so naturally I liked the movie. When it comes to books, my favorite genre is fiction, but I’ve been trying to read more non-fiction. I prefer to read books that are based on true events because I learn while enjoying a good novel.
Crier: If you won a free trip to any Spanish speaking country along with another Spanish teacher of your choice, where would you go and who would you take?
Doan: I’d take Mr. Malloy because he is hilarious. I’d want to go to Peru, but I have been there before. I’d be stuck between Ecuador and Chile because both have beautiful cultures and history, and I haven’t been to either of them.
Crier: If you were not a teacher, what would you be?
Doan: A talk show host. It would be awesome to have my own show. I would sit and discuss social issues such as women’s rights and race equality.
To nominate a teacher who has made an impact in your life, click here.