Teacher, friend and inspiration

By Abby Sunu
Staff Writer|
After the over-head seatbelt sign flashed and the plane touched down in Chicago with a bumpy landing, 15 high school juniors gathered up their carry-on luggage and prepared to get off the plane. Those 15 students got to spend 3 weeks in Granada, Spain.
One of those students, Danielle Ossman, stepped off the plane and immediately knew she wanted more than just three weeks of Spanish language and culture, she wanted a life with it.
Ossman’s life practically revolved around Spain. Her role model growing up was her Spanish teacher from high school, Mrs. Weitzman, who really inspired her to teach Spanish today. Ossman always looked up to her teacher because she was always there to support and help her.
The summer of 2012, Ossman took a trip to Spain and got to experience the running of the bulls. Although Ossman did not participate in the running, she was able to see everything. Watching this event was one of Ossman’s favorite memories she ever had in Spain. The running of the bulls can be described as a thrilling event where thousands of people decked out in white clothes with bright red scarfs run in front of a pack of bulls through the streets in Pamplona, Spain.
Since Spanish culture and language were always one of Ossman’s passions, she wanted others to experience it as well and decided to become a teacher. Ossman has been teaching Spanish for 7 years and 4 of those years have been spent at Prospect.
One of those teachers being Mike Aldworth has worked with Ossman for 3 years at Prospect high school. Over the years Aldworth and Ossman have worked together, they have grown to become friends because they both share a passion of teaching, learning and traveling.
“I love working with her,” said Aldworth. “She and I work very well together helping each other in everything we do.”
Aldworth and Ossman have taught Spanish at other schools in the past, but they can both agree that Prospect’s foreign language program is very advanced and has many caring teachers willing to help out the students.
“Here we all work together, share ideas, and support each other,” said Ossman. “and that makes it fun to come to work.”
Not only have the teachers played a big role her in Spanish career, but the students have as well. Just by walking by Ossman’s Spanish class, loud talking and laughter can be heard from the hallway. Ossman likes to have a loud classroom in order for people to participate and feel comfortable speaking.
“I’m not always so worried whether the answer is right or wrong,” said Ossman. “I just want people to try.”
Ossman’s favorite thing about being a teacher is getting to know the students. Her teaching style is different than other teachers because Ossman makes an effort to get to know her students more. She likes to know them outside of the classroom and be able to talk to them as a friend. Ossman has helped students in the past whether it was deciding on a college or even personal issues that students face.
“That’s the best part of my job because it gets to be more than just what’s going on in the classroom.” said Ossman.
Looking through all of Ossman’s experiences with Spanish and teaching, it comes down to two of her favorite passions. When Ossman looks back on her experiences she had with her great classes, “it really reminds me of why I want to be a teacher”.