Learning languages at Siena!

Robert Iadevaia, a senior mechanical engineering student at RPI, comes to Siena to study Italian and French. His dream is to work for Maserati in Italy, a company which speaks English, Italian, and French. To that end, he enrolled in classes at Siena to further enhance his Italian proficiency and begin to learn French. He takes advantage of the opportunity to enroll in Siena language courses completely free of charge through RPI, an opportunity available to all RPI students.

In his French course taught by Prof. Herbelin, Robert delighted his peers with some delicious croissants. What an awesome cultural experience!

My teaching story

Bonjour! Je m’appelle Jeff Petteys et je suis professeur de français depuis deux ans!

Although the past two years teaching have been crazy, chaotic at times, I’m so glad that I became a teacher through Siena’s teacher preparation program. Just like any current student in the program, I was placed in two different schools to fulfill my student teaching requirements. I taught for six weeks at Goff Middle School and three days at Shenendehowa before COVID happened! I did not realize the connections that were being made at the time and where this would all lead me in my career.

A maternity leave at Shenendehowa secured a position for me within their school district which inadvertently led to where I am teaching now, in my hometown of Corinth, NY! I feel so lucky to be colleagues with my teachers from both middle and high school. Teaching where I grew up thus far has been inspiring, motivating, and has ultimately brought me so much joy. My position is teaching French to 7th-11th graders. I am also coaching modified and JV wrestling along with hosting a trip to Europe in 2023! It has been extremely busy, but my course load at Siena prepared me for this. Although I am teaching during a pandemic, I have no regrets choosing this profession and I arrive home everyday proud of what my students are accomplishing. I am able to see growth and show my students that hard work and determination leads to success, although it is hard to see one day at a time. Just six years ago I was in their seats walking the same hallways. I’ve gained a new perspective and appreciation working in my home district and I feel very honored that they welcomed me back with open arms.