If you walk by Christopher Mercedes’ classroom in the middle of a lesson, you will naturally be filled with curiosity. The new high school Spanish teacher has found a way to make learning a foreign language fun and engaging and you can hear the excitement of his students as they participate in an action-packed class. Mercedes gained his inspiration for teaching Spanish while working in the medical field. “While working in hospitals and clinics, many of my coworkers expressed their regret for not taking Spanish class seriously while in school, so I set out to make Spanish fun and engaging so that the future generation of workers will be able to communicate with the people they serve since the Hispanic community is growing in the United States,” said Mercedes, who chose to teach Spanish because he believes that knowing a foreign language is one of the best ways to network and open up job opportunities. Mercedes began his teaching career as a middle school Spanish teacher at Breed Middle School in Lynn and then spent a year teaching Spanish and French at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School. Originally from Peabody, he ended up teaching alongside many of the teachers he had while he was a student. In the interview below, the Malden resident shares what he loves most about teaching.
What do you love most about teaching?
I love being able to connect with different students. Each student has their own unique story and I hope to be able to positively influence each of their stories.
Who inspired you to become a teacher?
My parents inspired me to become a teacher. My father has been teaching at the middle school level for many years. His love for educating has really inspired me. My mother transitioned from working in corporate America to becoming a teacher and she loves her decision to have entered the teaching profession. She taught me that you must pursue a career based on what you love to do and not based on how much money you are going to make.
What do you love about teaching in Winthrop?
I love the community feel in Winthrop. I feel like I joined a huge family. The staff are extremely friendly and united. It makes coming to work very easy. The students are also very respectful and get along very well, which makes for a pleasant work environment.