Spanish/Bilingual-Multicultural Education Concentration

Combines courses in the Spanish program with select courses in the College of Education and Human Development

Calyn Painter, 2020

Calyn Painter

What do you like about your career?

I’m a Spanish teacher at McLean High School. I love getting to know students and watching them grow. It makes me really happy when a student gets as excited about Spanish as I am and wishes to explore the language and culture in their future. I also enjoy learning from and collaborating with my colleagues.

How did your Mason courses/degree prepare you for your career?

My time at Mason helped me to be a more equitable teacher. It exposed me to the wealth and diversity of the Spanish language. I have some high school students who are native speakers of a variety of Spanish dialects and they come to me sometimes believing that the way they speak is wrong because it is not the “standard” Spanish. Mason gave me the tools to help those students understand that their Spanish is perfect and that their voice is valuable for me and their classmates. I like to see those students take on a leadership role in the classroom. I think getting my M.A. degree in Spanish also helped to mold me as a person. Not only did the rigor of the curriculum teach me the discipline, but the content of the courses opened my eyes to underlying causes that make reality what it appears to be.

What did you like most about your time at Mason? 

I loved the sense of community I felt at Mason. The program lends itself to building relationships with professors and with other students. The professors treated me as an equal, advocated for me, and supported me in my academic and professional endeavors. I grew alongside many wonderful people that were in the program and many of us are still friends to this day. The graduate teaching assistantship also made me feel even more like a part of the Mason family as I was able to work and study in the same place.