The Talon

Ms. Blandon, teacher of the future

Ms.+Elda+Blandon+is+featured+here+holding+%22Como+Agua+Para+Chocolate%22%2C+a+novel+she+uses+in+her+class.
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Ms. Blandon, teacher of the future

Ms. Elda Blandon is featured here holding

Ms. Elda Blandon is featured here holding "Como Agua Para Chocolate", a novel she uses in her class.

Paola Assad

Ms. Elda Blandon is featured here holding "Como Agua Para Chocolate", a novel she uses in her class.

Paola Assad

Paola Assad

Ms. Elda Blandon is featured here holding "Como Agua Para Chocolate", a novel she uses in her class.

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Elda Maritza Blandon Del Cid, best known as Ms. Blandon, is one of the most important pillars of the Language Department of Freedom High School. After getting her Bachelor of Arts at VCU she started as a substitute teacher in Fairfax after a teacher asked her to cover for her.  She soon found out how good it felt to teach and be part of the learning process of youth and decided to pursue her Master of  Education degree at George Mason University with a full scholarship.

“What I liked the most about VCU was the diversity: it was incredible! People from all parts of the world were coexisting together in the same environment, learning, enjoying, growing”, Ms. Blandon said, “I remember going to a lot of free concerts and art exhibitions VCU had, it is such a perfect place to develop the sensibility needed to be an artist, human and teacher.”

When asked for what’s her favorite thing about her work, she replied with one key word: help. “I love helping my students with their process of learning, because we learn a lot from them, too. The youth have so much to teach us, so I love that feedback”, and after one solemn pause, she added: “Having the future here, under my arm, in my classroom, listening and taking advice from me, is a huge responsibility that I enjoy.”

Born in Usulután, El Salvador, she soon moved to Canada with her family due to the Salvadorian Civil War at the age of 10. She lived in Quebec for a long time until her American Visa was approved, then she and her family could start a life in the U.S, more specifically Virginia, where she still lives today with her children: Nicole (10) and Donald (14). Her favorite part of the day is the morning, when she wakes up and realizes it is a new day with new opportunities to make life better.  When asked if she had a ritual for her mornings, she answered simply and with a literary tone: “Pray, meditate, eat.”

If Ms. Blandon wasn’t a teacher, right now she’d surely be an ambassador. Although she took time to think about what her life would be if she wouldn’t have chosen education, she said, “I actually never think about it, but due to my bachelor’s degree and where I was felt I was going, I probably would have chosen Public Relations and become an ambassador.”

Her favorite thing about Spanish language is the culture and the history that surrounds it: “I just love our culture, I love our way of being, of feeling, of celebrating. Everything we are and everything we do and feel is empowered by our words and our way to perceive language, in this case Spanish, a very expressive language.”

We ended the interview with her literature favorites in Spanish:

  • Favorite novel: En el tiempo de las mariposas (In the time of the butterflies), by Julia Alvarez.
  • Favorite authors: Pablo Neruda and Gustavo Adolfo Becquer.
  • Favorite poem: He andado muchos caminos (I have walked many roads), by Antonio Machado.
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Ms. Blandon, teacher of the future