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What's Up Magazine

Juan Angarita

Jan 09, 2017 03:30PM ● By Cate Reynolds

Juan Angarita

Gunston Day School, Centreville


Years teaching at Gunston: 6

Currently teaching: 9th–12th grade Honors Spanish 2, 3, 4, 5 and AP Spanish Language and Culture

Proudest teaching moment: “The proudest teaching moment for me comes on a daily basis when I see that all my students in all my classes are using a model that took years of limitless planning and effort. The idea that my students are able to reach their highest potential and contribute with their hard work to make our blending learning program possible is the most gratifying experience of my career.”

Teaching philosophy: “I believe that teaching is a collaborative effort between teacher and student. The teacher should serve as a guide and support to the student acquiring and improving expertise on any particular subject. Both teacher and student share certain responsibilities such as diligence, rigor, a long life learning aptitude, and most importantly appreciation of knowledge. This two-way street process I think brings enormous gratifications and results in teaching and learning.”

Toughest challenge facing educators: “Challenges vary from school to school. However, a classic one is the thin line that divides learning for the sake of learning and learning to fulfill your academic responsibilities. The culture that associates knowledge with a score number sometimes makes it difficult for students to explore their personal interests and pursue them at an early age. For that reason, the blending learning platform in my class is mostly homework-free, hoping it would open a creative space for students to focus on what they prefer to learn or do in their own time.”

Juan is a remarkably gifted, innovative, and dedicated educator. As our Foreign Language Department Chair, Instructional Technology Coordinator, and Spanish teacher, he has developed a rigorous blended learning program within his department (including a new partnership with Middlebury College), and his students hold him in the highest regard for his teaching skills. Moreover, in his administrative role, Juan has led the integration of high-impact instructional technology into every department of the school, and he has proven to be a patient and supportive colleague and mentor. Finally, beyond the classroom, Juan also coaches the Boys Varsity Soccer team, and he is a skilled musician.” —John A. Lewis, IV, Headmaster

Back to What's Up? Teachers 2017