Lost in translation

Ruben is ZM’s Amity teacher this year and students are loving having him in class!


Audrey Timm

Ruben stands in front of Mrs. Buchholz’s Spanish class.

Amity teachers have been building international friendships for over 57 years! Amity teachers have been valuable assets in ZM classrooms and provide local students with firsthand cultural experiences from their country of origin. They come to the United States from a different country and their number one task when most of them come here is to learn English. At Zumbrota-Mazeppa their Amity teacher always helps out in the Spanish room. They teach every once in a while and they usually just sit in and observe and help out when needed. 

        Additional responsibilities that the school must provide to the Amity teacher include picking them up at the airport, finding a host family that will take them into their home and provide for them. The teaching position must be full time and must be paid the same amount as a U.S teacher would with the same background. 

        Ruben is the current Zumbrota-Mazeppa Spanish Amity teacher who will reside with a host family for the 2019-2020 school year. He is a 24 year old man from Spain. There are so many differences between America and Spain. Ruben says, “The biggest difference is the transportation.  In Spain we walk everywhere and here you mainly take your cars anywhere you would like to go and the fact that you guys can get your license when you turn 16 and most of you get your license as soon as you are able to.” 

        Mrs.Buchholz, the district’s Spanish teacher, is also the host teacher. She lets the Amity teacher use her classroom to learn the things he has come here to learn and help use his knowledge of his country to educate the kids in the classroom. She has a huge responsibility as well. She has to go through figuring out what the Amity teacher can do to help and what she can do to help him. Mrs.Buchholz states “I enjoy having the extra help around the classroom.  The kids love getting to know him.” She also has to be a friend to him not just a coworker especially with him not knowing anybody here and missing his family and friends. Ruben loves getting to know the kids and America, And Mrs.Buchholz loves having the extra help!