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MHS Spanish teacher shows students new world
spanish teacher
GUADALUPE ENRIQUEZ/Tower News Chris Burr has been teaching for nearly two decades. His curriculum in Spanish is rooted in real-life experience: He’s spent extensive time in Spanish-speaking countries.



Manteca High Tower News


Chris Burr is an insightful Spanish instructor at Manteca High School, where he has been teaching for the last 17 years.

He is a strong believer that having the ability to speak and understand more than just one language builds deeper connections with your community and the cultures of the world. Burr strives to encourage students to learn a foreign language. He feels that through a second language students will further their knowledge and communication skills.

Tower News sat down with Burr to chat about his views on learning a foreign language, its benefit in a student's life, and the value of allowing cultures to flourish.

Tower News: Why do you believe it’s beneficial to learn a foreign language?

Chris Burr: Language is about connecting with other people. You can increase your opportunities to make deep connections with others through language and culture. … You just tap into this knowledge base that you otherwise wouldn’t have and so it expands your world and you’re able to accomplish a lot more.

TN: Why did you decide to teach Spanish?

CB: It’s so dynamic. Spanish by its nature is difficult because we’re teaching linguistic skills and communication. It allows you to, in terms of different topical areas, in terms of content, talk about the environment, we can talk about health and wellness. We can talk about all these things, so by its nature, it’s inter-disciplinary and fundamental to the core of who we are as human beings. It’s just so vibrant, so diverse.

TN: How has teaching Spanish impacted your life?

CB: Teaching itself has had a tremendous impact in my life, but Spanish in particular, it's been amazing. It really made me feel (proud and) special that I get to see students grow; some cases I seen them progress and go from not knowing any Spanish to making huge jumps in their abilities to do all those things that we said are beneficial in being able to be skilled in Spanish. … Makes me prideful of the work they did.

TN: Besides learning Spanish, why do you feel that understanding the culture is important?

CB: Culture is important because it reflects our identity. We all come from a cultural background… You can understand it on a deeper level – who people are, where they come from, a little bit about their family, how they think and act, their values and traditions that they hold dear that might be different to you.

TN: Since you are known to travel, do you believe that knowing different cultures has made your experiences different?


CB: For sure, yes. I, for the longest time, have spent time living and traveling in Spanish-speaking countries because it just was a richer experience, a deeper experience, my understandings and my ability to do all those things we were talking about – connecting with the people and learning about the life around me. It immediately made it easier and more fun.

TN: Do you have a message for those who want to know another language, perhaps Spanish?


CB: Go for it, honestly… It’s going to take a little risk taking, it’s going to take you a little bit out of your comfort zone. You’re going to feel like “I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t know what I’m saying,” and just embrace that, embrace the ambiguity, embrace the challenge because it’s the essence of life. Spanish really encapsulates that process; everyday show a little bit of growth.


About the authors


Guadalupe Enriquez is a senior Journalism student at Manteca High School. Enriquez appreciates spending time with nature alongside with someone special. They also enjoy listening to music of any genre while completing tasks. Lastly, in their free time, Enriquez spends time with their friends like going out or hanging out at each other’s houses.

Rose (Ronnie) Fuentes is a senior Journalism student at Manteca High School. Fuentes enjoys spending time with her dogs and friends. If she could, she would save every abandoned pet in the world. Fuentes has the dream and passion of becoming a veterinarian and opening her own rescue to help all the homeless pets. Fuentes enjoys reading and listening to music to relax.