Meet Ms. Rachel Potter, 2nd Grade Spanish Immersion
“Children are all so much more capable than they often give themselves credit for. They can achieve amazing things if they try and believe.”– Ms. Rachel
Ms. Rachel has been speaking Spanish since high school and currently teaches 2nd grade Spanish Immersion in Innocademy’s Las Huellas program. She went to college for general education and ended up taking Spanish classes just for fun, leading her to become certified to teach Spanish. Ms. Rachel started out at Innocademy as a classic Spanish teacher, but agreed to help Las Huellas as a long-term substitute teacher. She was only supposed to help out for a month while the school tried to find a teacher, but enjoyed the class so much she decided to stay on.
Since most students enter the Immersion program in Young 5s or Kindergarten, they’re comfortable with Spanish by the time they join Ms. Rachel’s 2nd grade class. She teaches every class in 100% Spanish, using motions and gestures when needed to convey meanings of trickier words or concepts. “How I like to explain it is that the standards I teach are exactly the same as other second grade teachers in Michigan, I just teach them in Spanish,” said Ms. Rachel. “The real miracles happen in the first two years of the program where they learn to be in school and interact with each other, all while learning their ABCs and Spanish on top of that.”
Ms. Rachel loves seeing her students have those ‘lightbulb moments’ when they figure something out for the first time. And it’s not always just solutions to academic puzzles. Sometimes it’s that moment when they first believe in themselves and succeed because of that belief: “Those lightbulb moments are really powerful to me because these are the things that need to be taught before the real teaching can happen.”
Outside of class, Ms. Rachel loves spending time with her husband and dog. They enjoy bike-riding, camping and traveling–especially to visit out-of-state friends and family. She also likes to stay involved in school activities during the day, supporting students and other teachers. She assists initiatives like the March Reading Month and special events like planning and bringing in guest speakers.
“I’m really proud to be a member of this team at Innocademy. I think our school does great things and I’m grateful to be a part of it.”