Hannah Sloan completed the M.A. program in 2015 while working as a high school Spanish teacher. Since graduating, she has kept close ties with SLU by offering dual credit courses to her high school students through SLU's 1818 program.
What is the title and description of your current position?
I am teaching at Orchard Farm High School in Saint Charles, Missouri. I was hired to take over the upper-level courses. I am teaching Spanish III and IV for dual university credit, and Spanish V to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Exam.
What have you been doing since receiving your M.A. from SLU?
At that time of graduation, I was working at Timberland High School in Wentzville. I taught levels 3 and 4 (AP). After earning an M.A. in Spanish, I became the World Language Department Chair. I was able to teach dual enrollment courses for my upper level students through Saint Louis University's 1818 Program. This program has been very beneficial for high school students as they are able to receive a rigorous education and college credits, at a much discounted tuition rate. Students are then able to enter into the Spanish program at a higher level when they attend Saint Louis University (or similar collegiate program). Since receiving my SLU M.A., I have also taught in the Mehlville School District. I now work at Orchard Farm High School, where I can fully use my education to benefit the students of my community. I live only five miles away from the high school and it is where my four children are likely to attend school in the future.
In what ways did the SLU M.A. prepare you for what you do today?
The M.A. program at SLU was amazing! The in-depth conversations with peers at a similar fluency level in Spanish is what truly helped me strengthen my skills as a speaker. I felt more and more confident to discuss literature and topics relating to Hispanic cultures in Spanish with my own students. I was able to bring my passion for learning and my sharpened skills to my own classroom. Although some students struggled with the AP exam, I am proud to say that the great majority of my students pass with a score of 3 or 4. My confidence as a Spanish speaker rose tremendously with each course that I took at the M.A. level. I feel completely prepared to teach college-ready students full-time next year. SLU has given me the knowledge and tools to build second-language fluency in my community.