Let me thank you for the excellent introductory Spanish course you conducted, and in which I participated. I really appreciated the vivacious manner in which you conducted your classes and give you high credit for keeping a relaxed atmosphere without intimidation. Your lessons always showed good planning and you had a good sense of “pace” for learning in the class. Once again, thank you.
Dear Mercedes, Your ability to reach people, to make everyone feel special, to educate and not insult, to accept with kindness, to understand, to be flexible, to be exciting and stimulating as an educator is rare and wonderful. People say regardless of their ability, their time to practice, their infirmities or their time schedules, they love the class, particularly because of your ability to be kind, flexible, understanding and interesting all at the same time. You seem to leave your ego at home and become a coach along with an individual who obviously cares about others. You are rare indeed, and I have trained teachers over many years, in journalism and general education. When someone comes along like you, they should be seen as the best example, which you absolutely are.
OHSU is fortunate to have a truly extraordinary Spanish instructor. I have taken language courses from various teachers, in various situations and Mercedes Cohan is far superior to other teachers I have encountered. Portland Community College adult education teachers don’t even come close in caliber. Nor does PCC offer the continuity or personal attention that one gets in her classes. Mercedes has a thorough knowledge of the syntax, vocabulary and idioms. She is well-organized and systematic. She uses a logical progression that effectively builds on what has already been learned and continuously reviews prior material as new material is introduced. I think she has developed her own method, certainly her style is all her own. All this is quite enough to make Mercedes a very good teacher. But she is more than merely good, she is genuinely gifted. Maybe it is because she loves what she does so much. She works hard at give us her very best, whether it’s running breathless to make copies for a newcomer or giving us funny mnemonics to helps us remember. Week after week she manages to inject fun into what is a really tough endeavor for adults with lots of other stuff going on in their lives. Her patience and understanding are admirable. Mercedes never hesitates to do just a little bit more, a translation, answer questions after class. Whatever it takes, she’s there making the extra effort. She encourages us. She makes us laugh. And we learn Spanish! What a fabulous asset she is to OHSU!
You are the best Language teacher I’ve ever had! Thank you so much for staying enthusiastic with your teaching methods – and your use of review and repetition makes the language stick!
Today while writing your evaluation for the Elsie Stuhr Center, I was thinking about what a great teacher you are. I notice it during class, but when I realize it most is when I rewrite my class notes in my notebook each week. Every time when I come across something which confuses me a little, later in the notes will be your very thorough explanation of that point.
I want to thank you for your knowledgeable and entertaining teaching style. Your grasp of Spanish grammar is impressive! Your assistance and patience with all of us learners will be something I shall always remember.
I wanted to write to you and tell you that I started taking your classes during what was possibly the toughest times (emotionally) in my life. I am sure that you have noticed that I perked up like a dry plant that finally got water. I feel so much better and the woman you saw me as during this past term is the real me. Now I am a version of me who knows more Spanish grammar! There was a significant amount of time that went by where having your class to anticipate during the week kept me going and reminded me that life is good and that it can get better. I was further inspired by the unfailing kindness of your students. It is the career path I can pursue with 100% passion! It really is an amazing group. I plan on continuing with Spanish as “danced” out by Mercedes.
I truly enjoyed your teaching! You are super awesome! And I’ve found a renewed interest in learning Spanish, so that’s good. Thank you for everything!
Well… the feeling is very mutual! And.. you know how much I (and the others) love coming to your class. It’s definitely your sparkling personality and your approach to teaching Spanish that make it so much fun! Not that many people would put so much energy and caring into it. And… you’re sooooo patient with us. That’s why we all keep coming back!
You are such a fantastic teacher: I can see the joy in your work of teaching and pleasure when your students ask questions and grasp concepts.
We want to thank you so much for getting us started. I personally think your curriculum/method is fantastic, and we both recognize you as a great teacher who puts a lot of effort into keeping the whole class of different personalities involved and making progress at every step. We will recommend your class to everyone. I must share with you one little success that proves I have learned something valuable from your class, I was writing a check for the man who did some work at my home, and was able to verify the spelling of his name, Osvaldo, by asking him if it is spelled with a “beh chica?” “Si, si, beh chica.” Made me feel I know a little something very important. I also know that with my background in your class, I can use the self-study books for Spanish because I can pronounce the words to myself, and I know the beginning structure of grammar.
I have arrived in Antigua and it is lovely! I have used your teaching since the driver picked me up in Guatemala City. I am so grateful for all you have done to help me communicate with other people in other countries. It is so much fun and the locals of course love it that I try. Love, respect and sincere gratitude to mi profesora.
This has been very helpful. I am able to communicate much easier with my patients already.
Dear Mercedes: I wanted to thank you for the two classes that you did for our nurse-midwifery students this term. I received excellent feedback, and several commented specifically on how much preparation and thought you had given to the presentation. Thank you again for your time and effort.
I have benefited from Mercedes classes in multiple ways. As a senior citizen, attending Mercedes classes has given me a sense of accomplishment. I have looked forward to attending each class because they have actually been enjoyable. If you were to observe Mercedes in action you would notice that not only is she proficient in Spanish, you would see that her teaching style is highly effective and that her personality has a way of eliciting laughter and joy from her students. I’ve attended several language classes at PCC in past years, and I’ve learned more from Mercedes than from any other instructor just because she makes learning fun. She conveys a sincere love for teaching through her own enthusiasm, through her patience and respect for her students and through humor. Mercedes is without a doubt an asset to our community.
I wanted you to know that so much Spanish is falling into place for me this year…..it is reminding me of a coin sorter at the bank. I credit this to both your skill and enthusiasm as a teacher, and your patience and reassurance as a friend when I had an overwhelmingly lost look on my face! I have a long, long way to go, and I look forward to it.
I love your class and your teaching style. !Aprendí mucho en solamente una clase contigo! Ojalá que nos veamos en primavera!
Thanks for opening up a whole new world. I love your teaching style. Energetic, engaging and fun.
I think that you are an A-1 outstanding teacher!!! I’ve learned so much from you, and your teaching style is such that I never feel intimidated when I make mistakes. Plus we have fun in class. You’re super!!
I love your class. You are a superb, inspiring teacher.
Mercedes, I love you as a teacher, your curriculum, and glorious style. You are the best!
So again I thank you for all you have given me over the years. You reflect my capacity to learn and improve and exude confidence that I will achieve my goal of learning the Spanish language.
You are one fantastic teacher – I know one when I experience one. I spent 35 years in public schools – 4 in Middle School music & English, 23 in Elementary Music (K-6), and 6 in High School English. I really appreciate your thoughtful approach to the teaching of a language, a very specialized kind of teaching, your preparation, your energy and your sense of humor.
No te puedes imaginar lo bueno que me siento a causa de tu ayuda. Gracias, Mercedes!
I have studied Spanish for nine years with Mercedes Cohan. As a healthcare provider at the VAMC, having increased ability to communicate with the Spanish-speaking community present at the university in any and all capacities has been a tremendous boost to productivity, morale and understanding across cultural lines. I have studied Spanish before I met Mercedes, but I have never had a teacher as committed to her students and the overall cause of language skill development. And I do not expet that I ever will. She is tireless and detail-oriented above and beyond all expectations. Her devotion is evident in the progress we have all made as we have grown in our commitment to learning an important language for people living in Portland, not just those working at OHSU in every discipline.
Thank you so much for your continued teaching. Have I ever told you that I come to your class not only because I want to learn some Spanish but also because of the person you are, your kindness, spirit and energy.
I had so much fun and learned a ton. You are the best language teacher by far on an intl. scale. Take that from a trilingual Translator/Interpreter major from the University of Vienna, Austria.
I LOVED our last lesson—the various teaching methods you use (sight, sound, movement, visualization, etc., is so very helpful for us adult students. Thank you for your dedication and enthusiasm!