Natalie De La Cruz

St. Paul's Preschool teacher Natalie De La Cruz

Natalie De La Cruz

What education, training, credentials and life experience do you have that help you in your work with preschoolers?

I have two young children who have just recently “graduated” from the preschool phase of life; have been a preschool substitute for two years; and have served in my church’s children’s ministry for 6+ years. I have degrees in Spanish and Public Health, and have studied, lived briefly and volunteered in the Dominican Republic, Bolivia/Peru and Honduras. My husband is a native of the Dominican Republic, and together we work hard to speak Spanish at home and raise our own kids to be bilingual.

What year did you join the Preschool staff?

2018

What class are you teaching this year?

Spanish

What do you consider to be your hometown?

Reno, Nevada

What are your most important teaching goals for the children in your class?

With only a brief weekly exposure to Spanish, I am not aiming for fluency but instead for an openness to learning about a new language and culture. My goal is to build awareness that the world is big and exciting and full of people who speak and do things a little differently than what most of us experience each day in our homes and families. I want them to have the confidence to smile and say “hola!” or “buenos dias!” to Spanish speakers in their communities. And, of course, I want to expose all these developing preschooler brains to the cognitive benefits of experience with a second language!

What do you like most about your job?

Preschoolers are the funnest humans on Earth! I am so excited to sing (badly), play games, be silly, and share my love of Spanish with a forgiving and non-judgmental audience. Ha!