The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School




The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School



All About Español with Nelly Caminada


A favorite among San Luis Obispo High School’s staff and students, Spanish teacher Nelly Caminada voices her love for both SLOHS and teaching after 12 years of being here. Expressions finally got the chance to sit down and interview the both Advanced Placement and Spanish III teacher about her expertise when it comes to the language.

Expressions: When did you initially become interested in educating others about the Spanish language?

Spanish teacher Nelly Caminada: I became completely passionate about teaching Spanish when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. The idea of speaking my mother’s language to my children filled my days and guided my future steps.

Expressions: Did you always know you were going to be a Spanish educator? If not, what were your other options and why did you choose teaching Spanish over them?

Caminada: No, I had no idea I was going to immigrate [from Peru] to the United States and use another language for everyday transactions. Growing up I practiced many sports and decided to get a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. Once here, in the country, my career of choice had other cultural ramifications and didn’t enjoy them as much.

Expressions: Where did you gain your love for teaching Spanish?

Caminada: In California, next to my young children and my bilingual home library. Later, the Master’s core and elective courses at the University of California, Santa Barbara, infused my early motivations with beautiful language and linguistic comparisons.

Expressions: How has growing up in Peru affected your teaching?

Caminada: I guess I am quite resilient and have lots of patience. I also tend to focus on moving forward as a group with as many people as possible.

Expressions: How old were you when you moved from Peru to the U.S? Are you glad you did so?

Caminada: I was 27 years old and I was working as a physical education teacher at a French dual immersion school. Am I glad? It left me without an extended family, but I had no choice. We had terrorism in the 1980s and earning a living was difficult. However, my life is so rich and complex that I am glad I took the chance to come to the U.S.

Expressions: What is your favorite memory from teaching here at SLOHS?

Caminada: My 2010 trip to Peru with Spanish IV and AP Spanish students.

Expressions: What do you want your students to gain from your classes?

Caminada: Perspective and the ability to communicate their thoughts in Spanish.

Expressions: Why should students take your classes?

Caminada: Because I am the best.

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