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In Colorado
Playing with fire

Name: José Fresco
Grades: 9-12
Subject: Spanish level IV, leve V (IB-SL), and level VI (IB-HL).
Room Number: W-319
Phone: 612-668-3030
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 en la Universidad de Minnesota with the idea to go back to Bolivia once I finished my degree. Sin embargo, things didn't go as planned, y me quedé a estudiar en Minnesota, I got married and now we have the two most wonderful niños in the world. Uno está estudiando en la universidad de Minnesota and the other one is a junior at Southwest. Most of mi familia (my mamá, hermanos y hermanas, tíos y tías, nephews, nieces, etc) still live in Santa Cruz. Pero, I have a sister who lives Europe also. I visit my family in Bolivia every 2 or 3 años. Four summers ago we traveled to Spain, France and Andorra and we had a great time going to las playas, visiting museos, walking around very old cities, staying in old castles, and comiendo all sort of amazing comidas. También nos gusta ir a the Boundary Waters y Colorado to do some mountain biking, hiking and visitando amigos.

I am one of cinco maestros de español/castellano at Southwest and this is my fourtheenth year teaching at Southwest. Antes de Southwest, I taught at North High School for 7 años y before that, at The International School of Minnesota in Eden Prairie for 1 año.

This year I am enseñando Castellano Nivel IV, Castellano IB-SL/BI-NM (Nivel V) and Castellano IB-HL/BI-NS (nivel VI). My clase/aula es W-319 and I usually arrive to school at 7:30 A.M. and I don't leave until 4:30 P.M. or later. Los padres son welcome to stop by anytime, before or after school, or even during class time to see what we are doing in the classroom. You don't need to call or make an appointment, just show up. And don't worry about interrupting the class, we won't even notice that you are there. We will do our best to ignore you.

Before teaching yo trabajé at The Malt Shop (5 años), at Al's Breakfast in Dinkytown (5 años), at a bicycle shop (3 años), at Dayton's (now Macy's) (2 años), and at the U. of M. Hospital (for 14 años because I wanted to pursue a career in medicine). En el hospital I worked at a pediatric station taking care of kids with cancer, Cystic Fibrosis, heart disease, kidney disease and liver disease. Some of these kids also needed heart, kidney, liver and lung transplants. While taking care of the kids, I found myself helping them with their tareas, and a coworker (thank you Ann Little) suggested that I should become a maestro, hence planting the seed. That is how I found my calling. A couple of años después I went back to school to get my degree in español/castellano and my masters in education.

I began teaching in 1999 and I enjoy it a lot. Being en la clase, interacting with the alumnos, and seeing them learn and grow is an indescribable feeling. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing former students stop by to tell me what they are up to, especially what Spanish speaking countries they have visited, or they have lived in.

In mis clases, besides learning castellano, they learn Hispanic and Latino culture from my life experiencias en Bolivia y aquí en EE.UU. They also learn canciones, sayings (refranes), and most importantly, appreciation for the language. I will also reinforce what you, parents, teach them at home: to be responsible, to follow the rules, to meet deadlines, to respect one another, to learn how to interact with classmates and teachers/adults in a positive way, to learn how to advocate for themselves, to have an open mind, and especially, to be tolerant of others. These life lessons, in my opinion, will be más importantes, more useful and more helpful later in life than anything else taught at school, even castellano.

Me gusta Southwest mucho. The staff is great and so are the students and the 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 still are one of the best high schools 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!!!

¡¡¡Buena suerte!!!

Señor Fresco