Name: José Fresco
Subject: Spanish level IV and level VI (IB-HL).
Room Number: W-319
Voice Mail: 612-668-8982
¡¡¡Bienvenidos!!! Welcome!!! Me llamo José Fresco (Joe Cool) and I am from Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. Yo vine aquí en 1980 to study at the University of Minnesota and I ended up staying, getting married and now we have the two most wonderful kids in the world. Most of my family (my mom, brothers, sister, nephews, etc) still live in Santa Cruz but I have a brother and a sister in Europe also. I try to visit my family in Bolivia every 2 or 3 years.
I am one of six Spanish teachers at Southwest and this is my tenth year teaching at Southwest. Before Southwest, I taught at North High School for 7 years and before that, at The International School of Minnesota in Eden Prairie for one year.
This year again I am teaching Spanish IB-HL (or level six) and level 4. My classroom is in W-319 and we finally have air acconditioned. That means that we won't cook during the fall and spring days. I usually get to school at 7:30 a.m. and I don't leave until 5:00 p.m. Parents, you are welcome to stop by anytime, before or after school if you want to talk to me, and to see what we are doing in the classroom. You don't need to call or make an appointment, just show up.
Before teaching I worked at The Malt Shop (5 years), at A'ls Breakfast in Dinkytown (another 5 years), at a bicycle shop for about three years, at Dayton's for about two years, and at the U. of M. Hospital (for 14 years). At the hospital I worked at a pediatric station (5A) taking care of kids with cancer, Cystic Fibrosis, heart, kidney and liver diseases, and with kids who needed heart, kidney, liver and lung transplants. While taking care of the kids, I found myself helping them with their homework and teaching them math, science, Spanish and other subjects. That is how I found my calling. In 1995 I went back to school, two years later I finished my BA in Spanish and a year later I got my ME (Master in Education).
I began teaching in 1999, I enjoy it a lot and I don't know when I am going to quit. Being in the classroom, interacting with the students, and seeing them learn and grow up makes my day. There is nothing more rewarding that seeing my ex-students stop by to see me to tell me what they are doing and what Spanish speaking countries they have visited or lived in. And they have been many of them so far, and I am sure they will be a lot more. Last year there were many ex-students studying abroad: Max, Juana, Mina, Sorcha, Vince, Brenna, Maddie and many more. We'll see who travels this year.
Besides teaching them Spanish, I teach them about the Hispanic culture and my life experiences in Bolivia and here, in the USA. I will also reinforce what you, parents, teach them at home: be responsible, follow the rules, respect one another, learn how to interact with classmates and teachers/adults in a positive way, meet deadlines, learn how to advocate for themselves, and specially, have an open mind and be tolerant of others. These are the things that are going to be the most useful and helpful later in life, even more than Spanish. And, along these things, they will also learn Spanish in fun and enjoyable ways.
Teaching is my passion and I don't see myself doing anything else, except when I retire (which I am not planning to do for a long time). Then, I would open a bicycle shop, ride my bicycle more and play golf (of course).
I like Southwest very much. The staff is great and so are the students and their parents. Students are polite, motivated, independent and most of all, very talented. Parents have been supportive and understanding and that is the reason why we have been the best public school in Minnesota a few times and we are still one of the best high school in the state. I am lucky and thankful to teach at Southwest and I don't have anything but good things to say about the staff, the students and their families.. Let's have another wonderful year!!!