01062021-totw-magaly-rogers

Spanish teacher Magaly Rogers poses in her classroom at Judah Christian High School.

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Submit nominations to Anthony Zilis at azilis@news-gazette.com

Spanish teacher MAGALY ROGERS has spent 35 years at Judah Christian, although those who first meet her might not know she’s been at the school for decades.

“She has the energy of someone half her age and a work ethic that is an example to all who know her,” Principal Jim Moxley said.

While she teaches four levels of Spanish, the teacher affectionately known as “Señora” doesn’t shy away from taking on extra roles at the school. She chairs the Chapel Committee, works with the Worship Team, and serves as the Senior Class Sponsor, which organizes events like the mission trip to Puerto Rico, where she grew up.

Rogers “is one of the most amazing teachers that I have ever been around in my 23 years as a principal,” Moxley said. “Señora is a favorite among JCS students, not only because she is an outstanding Spanish teacher, but because students love to spend time with her. She can often be found circling up chairs in her room in order to have some heart-to-heart discussion with a small group of students who need her advice. Likewise, it is a frequent occurrence to see former JCS students who are on college break, make a special point to drop by her classroom to let her know how they are doing or to let her know how much she meant to them.

Here’s more from our Teacher of the Week:

I find my work important because … I love people. I like to be part of my students’ lives, but I also want to encourage them to learn what I teach, which is Spanish. I believe, especially now in the United States, it is so important to have a second language. It can open the door for so many opportunities.

I want to prepare my students well so that when they go out into the real world to work or to continue studies, they will have a good foundation in a second language.

I became a teacher because … my mother and aunt were teachers. I saw how much they enjoyed teaching and how much they loved the children.

My favorite lesson to teach is … when we read books in Spanish at the higher level of Spanish 3 and 4. The books are usually biographies. I love when the students have learned something about the person and are inspired about the things they learn. When I tell them we are reading a book in Spanish, they think, “Oh, I can’t do it!” But, as soon as they begin, they understand more and more. I love the feeling they get that they accomplished something. I feel the same way. I know they can do it, but they don’t always believe they can do it until they get to that point. Getting there is very satisfying.

As far as my most fulfilling moments on the job go ... I have a lot. For me, everything is about relationships. I teach because I love people. Every day, I look forward to being with the kids. I like to hear about their lives, what happened yesterday, just to know more about them.

In my case, I love being able to pray for them when something is going on in their lives. I also love the people I work with. We have become a family. I have a family at home, but I also have a family at school. I know they care about me, I care about them.

I’m also passionate about … people knowing how much the Lord loves them. For me, it is not always opening a Bible and talking to them. It is just spending time with them and slowly teaching them and telling them how much the Lord loves them.

That is why I was a missionary for 10 years before I started working at Judah. I love when people are on fire for God.

When it comes to my own favorite teachers ... I have two. One was my high school English teacher, Josephine Diaz, at Liceo Ponceño. She was kind, and she always went the extra mile to make sure we understood what she was teaching.

She took the time to be one-on-one with us if we needed extra help. The other teacher I admire is my mom, Lydia Osuna. She was a first-grade teacher at Liceo Ponceño. My mom was the kindest teacher.

Many times, I was her TA. I loved the patience she had to answer the same question 10 times.

During the pandemic ... when we were all at home, we did Google Classroom, and we met almost every day online. Almost all of my students were there every day.

We did the lesson and ended up praying and talking about something going on in their lives. If the students were not present, we would do FaceTime or a phone call.

If I weren’t a teacher, I would be … two things. First, I would be a social worker because I love people, which again is why I teach.

Second, I would be a missionary. I would go back to where I worked for 10 years in Argentina and Chile, sharing the Lord with people and getting to know people and their cultures.

ANTHONY ZILIS

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