Meet Sol Fernandez
What do you love about teaching your subject?
I'm originally from Madrid, Spain. I love having the opportunity to share both my language and my culture with these young women. True cultural understanding comes with an understanding of the language.
Do you have a favorite AIS tradition?
I love the senior assemblies — students spend months researching a topic and preparing a speech to give in front of all of their Upper School classmates. I love seeing them confront their fears about public speaking and give amazing speeches!
I also love the Special Studies Program, during which sophomores and juniors spend two weeks in internships, special mini-courses or educational trips domestically and abroad. Taking the girls to my hometown, Madrid, was very special — I couldn't believe I was walking the streets where I grew up with my students from AIS!
Tell us about the Special Studies Programs you have led.
I have led SSP groups to Spain (Madrid and Sevilla), Mexico and Cuba. I am always so proud of the girls: For many of them, it is their first opportunity to practice their new language with true native speakers. I loved seeing them communicate with the locals and experience the culture firsthand without the barrier of translation. These SSPs were a rich and rewarding experience for everyone.
What do you hope students take away from your class?
I hope students gain the cultural understanding that comes from learning a foreign language — and that they remember to keep learning!
What do you like to do in your free time?
Travel, travel and travel! I have spent a lot of time exploring my home country with family and friends. I’ve been fortunate to have experienced many countries.
I lived in Prague for several years after I first married, and while living there, visited Austria, Poland, France, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia and Italy. I’ve vacationed in Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, Portugal, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Panama, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Canada and South Africa.
As a college student, I toured the entire United States on a bus. But I can honestly say that my favorite city was Prague —maybe because I was young, maybe because we lived next to the castle, or maybe just because it was where my first child, Ricardo, was born. I also love food and spending time with my friends and family.
What is something we don’t know about you?
I’m learning Portuguese, and Italian will be my next language adventure! I just need longer days.
Teaches: Middle and Upper School Spanish
Years at AIS: 6
Involvement at AIS: Spanish teacher, Upper School advisor, has led SSP trips to Spain, Cuba, and Costa Rica.
Taking the girls to my hometown, Madrid, was very special — I couldn't believe I was walking the streets where I grew up with my students from AIS!