Ms. Beltran: Counseling Skills in the Classroom

A New Spanish Teacher Finds Former Career Helpful

After the retirement of Spanish teacher, Sue Natale in January, many of Morgan’s Spanish students saw a new face in the A-wing. This is Andrea Beltran, Morgan’s new Spanish teacher.
Before she worked at Morgan, Ms.Beltran taught Spanish in Texas. While in Texas, Ms.

Abby Vitola

Beltran taught International Baccalaureate Spanish for both middle and high schoolers. After moving to Connecticut, she became a guidance counselor in New London for nine months before deciding to teach Spanish at Morgan.
One of the biggest changes that Ms.Beltran has noticed is the student population. In Texas, she taught at a school of around 5,000 students, which is typical for the state. Now, in a school with about 500 students, Ms.Beltran feels more accepted. The community is extremely close-knit; Ms.Beltran was initially worried about cliques but realized that Morgan is quite the opposite of that. When Ms. Beltran began teaching at Morgan, she says that she received overwhelming support from parents, teachers, and students. Ms.Beltran said that the students at Morgan are more accepting and kind. She said this is the best group she has worked with so far.

Ms. Beltran’s favorite part about teaching is interacting with students. She works to employ her counseling skills within the classroom and has found this effective for getting to know and helping her students. One of the strategies she uses most often is reading the room. The strategies she uses is dependent on the class she has. Reading the room allows Ms. Beltran to learn what motivates her students and how they will learn best. Her classes and how she teaches them is heavily based on the knowledge Ms.Beltran obtained from being a counselor. She does not like to judge students based on their past and allows them to start fresh in her classes.

Besides using her counseling skills to help understand students, Ms.Beltran knows the struggle of learning a new language. Ms. Beltran grew up in Columbia and began to learn English at the age of ten. She said, “I’m doing the opposite of what everyone in my classes is doing”. This helps her to understand some struggles her students are going through while taking Spanish classes.
In addition to knowing how hard it is to learn a new language, Ms.Beltran knows it is hard to be a student. She is currently earning her doctorate degree in counseling with the hopes of helping more students.
Outside of school, Ms.Beltran stays busy taking care of her two daughters, traveling, being outdoors, and participating in CrossFit.