Q&A with Michelle Zapata


Spanish Teacher Michelle Zapata

Written by Ajay Nair

Question: What do you like to do in your leisure time?

Answer: I like to travel around the world and visit new places to explore new cultures, cuisines, and scenery. I also like to read fiction novels that take place in the countries I travel to. When I cannot find the time to travel, I just visit an art or culture museum which takes me around the world, too.


Q: Who would you like to be for a day and why?

A: I would like to be Oprah for a day. She is a powerful woman role model of mine that has the opportunity to work with many amazing creative people in her day to day life. It would be interesting for me to meet all the creative writers that write for her magazine and cable channel. It would also be interesting to meet the photographers, stylists, and many other professionals that work closely with her. She has many interesting friends that would be amazing to have conversations with such as the Obamas and Beyoncé. She also has many wonderful travel experiences.


Q: What skill would you like to learn?

A: I would like to learn how to dance tango. It is a dance that comes from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and I find it to be very artistic and beautiful. I also love the Argentinian culture and would love to visit the country someday too.


Q: What is your favorite type of music?

A: I love all types of music but one of my favorite types of music is R&B soul music. Some of the artists include Erykah Badu, Leela James, Angie Stone, and Les Nubians.


Q: Who or what inspired you to become a teacher?

A: My mother and high school Spanish teacher inspired me to become a teacher. They were two profound role models in my life who taught me so much about the world and my Latin roots that I never wanted to stop learning about Latin culture. My Costa Rican mother was the first person to take me traveling outside the country as a little girl, and I never wanted to stop learning about other cultures since then.


Q: What do you enjoy most about being a teacher?

A: One of the things that I enjoy most about being a teacher is being able to broaden students cultural awareness by exposing them to a new culture, and assisting them in preparing for the real world (college and beyond). It is also fun to laugh with many beginning Spanish learners who think they are not capable of learning Spanish but they really are.


Q: Why did you decide to pursue teaching Spanish?

A: I decided to pursue teaching Spanish since I loved learning and reading about the Spanish culture since I was a young girl.
Q: Would you prefer to remain teaching in the United States or would you want to move to another country and teach there?

A: I would prefer to teach in the United States since this is my home, but I would welcome the thought of teaching in another country for a few years if I ever found the right opportunity.


Q: Do you plan on pursuing a new career in the future?

A: In the future I would like to continue in the education field. I feel it is important to reach and help as many students as possible in this field since the younger generations are the future of the world.


Q: Did you have a different career aspiration during your childhood?

A: As a young adult in college I did have different career aspirations. I was leaning more toward being a newspaper reporter or editor. I was also interested in the field of Advertising. I was never dead set on anything, and so when I realized some of these jobs were becoming obsolete worldwide due to newspapers and media going digital I changed my career goals real quick.