Official Student Newspaper of Henry M. Gunn High School

Charlotte Kaufman, World Languages

French 1 and 2 and former Spanish teacher Charlotte Kaufman is leaving after two years of teaching at Gunn. During her tenure, Kaufman has been an approachable face on campus. “Students can tell that I enjoy spending time with them and I genuinely care about them,” she said.

Her teaching approach builds her students’ real-world language and cultural skills. Instead of using the textbook, she creates materials herself as well as finds YouTube videos, articles and infographics online. “[I use] things that are more real, tangible and relevant than what’s written in our textbook,” she said. “There’s so much interesting stuff going on in the world, and so much stuff that’s worth talking about, learning about and discussing, while practicing things that we also have to learn the French [for].”

Although Kaufman has not finalized her plans past this school year, she wants to leave the Bay Area—possibly move to France or Hawaii—and find a remote job with greater flexibility. “There [are] all these really excellent reasons to keep working here, and then in the column of reasons to leave, all I have is that I want to live somewhere else,” she said.

Kaufman hopes her students will remember not just the French they learned but also the value in acquiring a new language. “I hope that [students] leave my class feeling like learning a language is a worthwhile thing to do,” she said. “Even if they don’t get it perfectly, I hope they leave my class knowing that it’s okay to make mistakes, especially with a language.”

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