Maine Coast Semester

Paloma Garcia Montes

Spanish Teacher

Paloma Garcia Montes


Paloma Garcia Montes

My first experience teaching was at an American abroad program in Valencia, Spain.

There I created a course connecting the medieval altarpieces collection from the Museum of Fine Arts, their guild techniques, and the materials used. We then applied them to modern subjects for our class. I really enjoyed this place-based learning. 

After I graduated from UNH, I wanted to explore other ways to use my language skills and I became a National and Federal Court Interpreter for the Massachusetts Trial Court. My intention was to combine teaching Spanish and interpreting. I soon realized, although compatible, my stronger vocation was as a teacher and decided to concentrate my efforts in learning more about different ways of second language acquisition pedagogies. 

I was very interested in the Harkness method of teaching and learning and after I worked for Phillips Exeter Academy, I was able to incorporate it into my Ph.D. research. I believe that students in the language classroom move towards a process of self-discovery while learning another language and culture. As I choose content and support students in their communication skills, the students challenge me to expand my knowledge which in turn fuels my pedagogical creativity.

Docere, Delectare, and Movere (to guide and teach, to delight, and to touch emotion) defines as well the art of Harkness where I, the instructor, am equally engaged in the joy of learning.

I offer knowledge and love of the subject, patience and commitment of trial and error, the ability to improvise, and a disposition to allow students to explore their creativity.

I love spending time with my family and friends in Spain. Hiking in the Pyrenees, sharing the best tapas and swimming in the Mediterranean Sea are some of our treasured things to do.

What Brought Me to Chewonki?

The opportunity to teach and to learn from academically driven high school juniors that have not only a curiosity about the natural world but a dedication to its preservation.


B.A. American Studies, Brunel University London
M.Sc. Social Anthropology, University College London
M.A. Hispanic Studies, University of New Hampshire
Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics, Universidad Politecnica Valencia

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