A teacher for more than twenty years – seventeen of them at Kent – Sr. Torrez now teaches Spanish 2 and Spanish 3. Sr. Torrez enjoys teaching at Kent because of the respectful atmosphere of Kent as a community. He appreciates those who work in the background supporting the school.
Sr. Torrez has a very unique and practical style of teaching, which focuses on students’ “doing” and co-working experience, instead of lecturing. He recalls that it was back when he was only a student that he developed a dream of being a teacher. However, the education Sr. Torrez received as a child was mostly lectures, where “teachers are always on top of students.” He believed that students should have chances to practice their knowledge learned in lectures with group works. He wants to create a classroom where students can “see the posters, smell the atmospheres, and listen to music while learning together with teacher and peers.”
Sr. Torrez used to work in construction and compares teaching to the layers of a building: “There is foundation, sub-foundation, concrete, and walls. Everything needs to be put together right and tight.” As a teacher, Sr. Torrez needs to prepare every small bit of a class, such as reading, lecturing, and group working, to give students full opportunities to learn in class. He encourages his students to “work hard, do the best of yourself, and learn.”
Sr. Torrez enjoys being in his own classroom during the day. He has turned his classroom into a working space, a museum, and a lab, where he supports his students to achieve their goals. Sr. Torrez makes motivational posters regularly and pastes them in his classroom – blackboards, walls, and doors, which students can first notice when stepping into the classroom.
Sr. Torrez is a very positive person and brings enthusiasm wherever he goes. “I get the positivities because I’m blessed. I’m blessed to be happy,” he said. Sr. Torrez has been through adversities himself, but every time he is able to see the light coming from the end of the tunnel. “Sometimes you come out winning, sometimes you come out failing, but you come out alive,” he said.
“Don’t just make a living, make a life,” he says.