Teacher Feature

JHS Spanish Teacher- Mrs. Foerster

Quick Biography

Name: Bridget Foerster

Hometown: Jefferson, WI

Position: Spanish Teacher at Jefferson High School, AFS Club Advisor, Europe trip chaperone

College Attended & Degrees Attained: Viterbo University (La Crosse, WI) - B.S. in K-12 Spanish and B.S. in Middle/Secondary Education, M.Ed. from National-Louis University in Curriculum and Instruction

Years Teaching/ Previous Districts: 9 Years at Jefferson

Years at Jefferson: 9

What do you think makes Jefferson Special? I have always thought that the Jefferson community supports each other and its schools. To me, it is special that many local businesses are owned by Jefferson alumni.

Hobbies and Interests Outside of Education: Baking, traveling, visiting local coffee shops in different cities with my sister, attending concerts, spending time with my husband and son.

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My son, Joel, practicing saying “cheese” to the camera.

Mrs. Foerster has always had her sights set on education.

We asked what Mrs. Foerster aspired to be when she grew up, and we were not surprised to find out she has always wanted to be a teacher. I always enjoyed learning and admired my teachers. When my elementary school was getting rid of textbooks, I asked to take some of the teacher’s editions home so I could pretend I was teaching. Some of the textbooks still had the black carbon copy pages!

We asked who her favorite teachers were growing up, and found...

This was a difficult question for Mrs. Foerster to answer as she had so many to choose from. She did provide us with this interesting take on the question. She is now a colleague of many of the people who were once her teacher!

Since I graduated from Jefferson High School, I am fortunate to work with many of my former teachers. It has been fun getting to know them personally over the years. And, yes, it was hard to call them by their first names for the first few years!

Teachers eat school lunch too! What is Mrs. Foerster's favorite lunch?

Breakfast for lunch or the fresh mini loaves of bread that were served when I was in high school.
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At Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado in August 2013 with my sister, Holly.

Favorite music or band?

I love many kinds of music, especially pop, country, and alternative. Lately, though, I have been most into indie folk/rock. My favorite group from that genre is The Ballroom Thieves, a group my sister introduced me to who we have seen and met several times. The group is from Boston and includes a guitarist, a percussionist and a cellist who create beautiful harmonies when they sing together. My favorite songs by them are “Anchor”, “Archers”, and “Brother”.

The Ballroom Thieves - 'Brother'

We always want to know what teachers did before they were teachers! Any interesting jobs before you came to education?

During college, I was a waitress, cook, and delivery driver for Pizza Doctors, a local pizza place in La Crosse. The restaurant was unique and known for its crazy pizza creations. It was a fun place to work and eat!

What makes you LOVE teaching?

Anyone who spends time in Mrs. Foerster's classroom can easily see she is a dedicated and very effective teacher. Her love of learning shines through in all of her classroom activities and the work she does around the school outside of the classroom. We wanted to know what is it that she loves about teaching.

I enjoy building long-lasting relationships with my students. The best part of teaching three consecutive levels of Spanish is being able to teach many students for 3 years in a row. I love witnessing their Spanish improve and watching them develop confidence in their abilities over the years.

What tools does Mrs. Foerster use to make her classroom engaging and ensure that students learn?

The internet! With Pinterest, Youtube, Twitter and other websites, there is an infinite amount of authentic resources I can use with my students to keep the content current and engaging.

Any random facts about yourself you are willing to share with us?

To enhance my understanding of Spanish and to develop a higher level of proficiency in college, I studied abroad for a summer in Cuernavaca, Mexico which is two hours south of Mexico City. My twin brother, Ben, who minored in Spanish, accompanied me on this trip. We lived with the same host family which made it easier to remember the experience because we can still share stories from the trip with each other. While in Mexico, we flew to Chiapas, the southernmost state in Mexico, and visited many primitive indigenous villages. We also took a day trip to see the most visited archaeological site in Mexico, the ancient Mesoamerican city, Teotihuacan. While there, we climbed the third largest pyramid in the world, the Pyramid of the Sun. I loved experiencing the Mexican culture first-hand and developing confidence in speaking Spanish. I wish all students would seek the opportunity to study abroad during high school or college.

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Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan, Mexico.

Mrs. Foerster definitely has the travel bug!

In 2003, when I was a senior in high school, I went on a Europe trip to England, Wales, and Ireland with now-retired English teacher, Mark Touhey, and current guidance counselor, Mark Kurtz. It was my first time flying and my first time traveling outside of the continent. When I started teaching at Jefferson High School in 2007, Mark and Mark asked if I would be willing to accompany them, along with social studies teacher, Cory Klecker, on their annual Europe trips as a female chaperone. Since then, I have gone on almost every trip, except for taking off the year my son was born and this year, when my daughter will be born. These trips have offered our students amazing opportunities to see the world and learn intercultural understanding. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to thirteen different European countries throughout these trips. I look forward to taking students to various parts of Europe in the upcoming years. In March 2017, we are going to Germany and the Alps (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). In March 2018, we travel to Europe’s Mediterranean Coast (Italy, Monaco, France, Spain). To follow that, in March 2019, we plan to visit the capitals of the British Isles (Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and England).

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Eating a Trdelnik (a cinnamon and sugar pastry) in Prague, Czech Republic, April 2012

What is Mrs. Foerster's next big adventure?

My husband and I are expecting our second child, a girl, on March 2, 2016 which happens to be our son’s 2nd birthday!

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