After finishing the Second Languages and Cultures Education program from the University of Minnesota in 2012, I joined the Whittier family. I am licensed to teach Spanish and ESL. My undergraduate degree is a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish.
I was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador. From 2001 to 2007 I was an elementary English teacher at Instituto Particular Abdón Calderón in Guayaquil. I immigrated to the U.S. in 2007. I have lived in Minneapolis since then. While teaching in Ecuador I realized that education was my vocation. I am passionate about language and teaching language. I know Spanish, English, French and a little Norwegian.
Between 2007 and 2012 I studied at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, worked as a Bilingual Associate Educator at Emerson Spanish Immersion Learning Center, and attended the University of Minnesota for undergraduate and graduate degrees. It was the experiences at MCTC and Emerson that gave me opportunities to find the great diversity in Minneapolis and personally experience many new cultures. These experiences led me to my commitment to teach in an urban school setting.
Since moving to the United States I have returned to Ecuador several times. I remain very close to my native country, its culture and people. Even as a native Spanish speaker, I am an enthusiastic student of the Spanish language. I try to pass on that excitement in the classroom.
I am the building Spanish teacher for all of Kindergarten through fifth grade. I work with Kindergarten and 1st Grade students once a week and 2nd Grade through 5th Grade students twice a week. I work with students in their classroom.
I firmly believe that students need a supportive environment to take a risk and try to speak a foreign language in the classroom. My classroom priority is to provide that environment by creating opportunities for risk taking through storytelling, music, visual aids, drama and other tools.
The best way to contact me is through email: Maria.Laden@mpls.k12.mn.us
315 West 26 Street Minneapolis, MN 55404
Phone: 612.668.4170 | Fax: 612.668.4180