Educator Spotlight: Meet Rosa Liarte
History educator in Spain champions tech to teach both students and teachers
This story is part of a weekly series that celebrates outstanding teachers in our Flipgrid community. Stories by Angela Tewalt.
I met Rosa Liarte on a video call on a Tuesday morning.
She was calling in from sunny Fuengirola, Spain, where the yellow sandy beaches sparkle along the coast and holiday had just begun for the schools.
But Rosa was in no mood to talk about vacation. Instead, she was bright and eager and sending me links to her students’ projects within minutes of our chat.
“Give me a second,” she asks as she pulls up yet another video, another website, another set of photos of beautiful students wild with glee. As a high school history and geography teacher, Rosa raises wonderful children, and it’s because her pace in the classroom is as quick as it was on the call. She works hard for her students and for the teachers among her, and she hasn’t one desire to rest.
“I think when you are making things you like, the time you spend on it doesn’t matter,” says Rosa, who’s been teaching and coaching teachers in technology for ten years. “And whenever we finish a project together, I’ll make a video for my students. And so many students start to cry, saying, ‘I can’t believe we made this!’ They are so proud, this is our biggest work, and when you have these responses from your students, you see they are learning for life. It’s beautiful.”
‘Tech is here to stay’
Rosa is an incredible and attentive advocate for technology.
Not only does she use her classroom blog to share history lessons with her students and resources for fellow teachers, she uses her website to publish tutorial videos and help teachers worldwide embrace the great enhancement that educational apps can bring to the learning experience.
“Technology is here to stay with us, not to forbid us,” Rosa says. “I think it’s the best thing we need today! I try to show other teachers that technology is our friend, not an enemy. And a lot of people do want to learn. I always say that I want to put a seed in each person and grow a tree for the future.”
She also advocates for project-based learning in the classroom, where her students tout artwork and reports on ancient Rome. Together, they scour the internet, ask questions and arrive at a solution as a team, and each is better for it.
“I always like to teach someone something new, so this is my way to help my students become competent,” Rosa says. “In the future, work has to be shared with other people, so if my students can work with technology and learn how to communicate with others, I think that’s the best way to prepare for the future.”
Fighting for equality with her students
Rosa is delightful to meet. She is ravenous to teach, joyful to listen to and equally as insatiable to learn something new herself. To her, adults should always be learning, too, and, as a history teacher, she knows there is always much for all of us to catch up on.
For one of her most noted school projects, she and her students started looking up how many streets in town were named after women. After realizing an obvious discrepancy, she and her students began a social campaign advocating for more female-named streets. Today, hundreds of teachers in Spain have participated and taken the project into their own classrooms.
“I hope that more teachers in the U.S. will take on the street project in the future, because it’s not only a problem in Spain,” Rosa says. “It’s also a beautiful project to investigate history, to talk about women in history and to talk with the city council. It has had such a big impact on our students, and I hope it continues to grow.”
With Rosa’s energy and dedication, anything is possible. She sees learning and success of any kind in the classroom as collaborative and is grateful to see teachers embracing change and with a willingness to adapt.
“I think the Flipgrid community is incredible,” Rosa says. “Whenever I see projects from other teachers, it gives me another project idea to make with my students! I think the more we share, the more we grow together. There is so much to learn.”