Ms. Sheppard Helps Foran

Aley Phelan

Staff Writer

The loved Spanish teacher Ms. Sheppard knew at an early age that wanted to teach and help others. She took these strategies into her passion for Spanish and became the woman we know her as today, a great Spanish teacher. Ms. Sheppard says, “I always enjoyed sharing knowledge and strategies for learning.”

“Being a Spanish teacher is my way of sharing in the mission of peace and brotherhood. I aim to encourage acceptance of diversity and celebration of life in its many expressions.” Ms. Sheppard says of her mission as a teacher.

In High School, as a student, Ms. Sheppard found inspiration through her own Spanish teacher. Her teacher traveled through Latin America as a Peace Corp worker and Ms. Sheppard was excited by, “her descriptions of different cultures and the practical use that could be made of a subject I was studying in school.” Ms. Sheppard was drawn in to the subject because of the cumulative nature of learning a language.

Ms. Sheppard brought these skills to Fairfield University where she went to college and met a professor who she ended up modeling her teaching methods on. The professor “made language learning come to life by bringing in musical instruments and cultural regalia”. Junior Mark Duffy says, “She always strives to make her class fun while also educating through her passion for teaching.”

Ms. Convertino, head of the Spanish department says, “All of Ms. Sheppard’s students love her and she is one of the most dedicated Spanish teachers ever.”

sheppard

Ms. Sheppard doesn’t only connect with her Spanish students, as the advisor of the Helping Hands club at Foran she reaches out to many students. Duffy says, “She is always there for her students, no matter what the circumstance.” Every year Helping Hands chooses a charity and raises money for that charity. This year the charity was the Yale New Haven Children’s hospital and the club raised $359.01 from their community tag sale. Sheppard encourages all students to join, she says “Simply come see me in room 338 and inform me that you would like to help out.” The club also hopes to join up with other service clubs at Foran to work together on future events.

Ms. Sheppard’s favorite aspect of teaching and advising is working with students every day to bring happiness into each other’s life. “Every day is a new chance to make a different in others’ lives directly and indirectly.”

Ms. Sheppard believes all students can learn multiple languages, regardless of their abilities. As a teacher she is talented in enabling struggling learners to succeed. She was opened up to this skill from the birth of her son, Patrick. Patrick has Downs Syndrome and learns best though “repetition and experience, humor and low anxiety, and a nurturing environment.” Ms. Sheppard added, “If Patrick can learn a second language, then all students here at Foran can progress toward becoming bilingual.”

Ms. Sheppard is loved by all her students because of the joy and fun experience of learning she brings to the classroom every day.