World Language Teachers Love Their Work, Love Their Students

Madison Kaster, Daniel Patz, Behrgen Smith, Staff Writer

Journalism students Madison Kaster, Daniel Patz and Behrgen Smith interviewed three language teachers at NDA and conducted a student poll of 199 students, one-fourth of the student body.  They wanted to learn the teachers’ background and thoughts on teaching  as well as discover student preferences for a world language to study.

                                                                         Kaster Interview with French teacher Natasha Geyer

Madame Geyer truly believes teaching at NDA was her calling from God. When she started working at NDA in 1996, she loved it. A few years into the job she wanted to explore the world of business. So she left NDA but got a call from NDA about two weeks after she left saying they really wanted her to come back. She realized how much she missed it, so she came back and has been teaching here ever since.

Why is she so interested in teaching French? French, she explained, has a “beautiful history and culture and is a wonderful language as a whole.”

Mrs. Geyer wants her students to know the language and be able to speak it as well as learn about the history and culture. The most important thing I learned in the interview was she loves her students regardless of the grades they have. She describes her students as “enthusiastic, energetic, fun and intelligent” and says she learns from them just as much as they learn from her.

Mrs. Geyer said the best part of her job is bringing her students overseas and seeing how well they can apply what they’ve learned to a real-life situation.

                                                                            Patz Interview with Spanish teacher Crystal Dory

Senora Dory is very energetic, loves her students and genuinely cares for them.  She came to Notre Dame ten years ago because she and her husband had finished grad school and decided to move to northern Wisconsin from Milwaukee. They wanted to be in the area where Senora’s husband had grown up.

Christian Dory landed a teaching job at Oconto Falls High School, and she was lucky enough to get a job here at Notre Dame Academy–and has been here ever since.

This Spanish teacher has a passion for travel and loves to learn about other cultures; she especially loves travelling to Spanish-speaking countries. Because of her passion for traveling, she is able to bring back everything she has learned to her students.  She enjoys both the history of the country and the language.

For even more insight on why Senora Dory is at NDA and why she loves teaching, read her story “Why I Am Here,” posted August 21 in the Online Tritonian.

                                                                              Smith Interview with Chinese teacher Quihong Zhang

Mrs. Zhang  came to Notre Dame for three reasons. She was offered the job when the school decided to add Chinese as a world language, she was raised in China and knew the language, and she wanted the students to see another world through the Chinese language.

She has been teaching for 19 years, and 10 of them were spent teaching Chinese. She knows the English language because she was taught the language in school, so she didn’t have to learn the English language outside of school.

She was inspired to teach because she saw a middle school student who was very persistent in learning the language, and that inspired her to teach students, seeing that children can be very interested in the Chinese language.

One of her most persistent “students” at NDA is theology teacher Jane Hall.


Language Poll Results: 199 responses

German: 34  17.3%

Spanish: 108 54.8%

French :37 18.8%

Chinese:18  9.1%