Mrs. Danielle Regan’s love for languages

Mrs. Danielle Regan takes on many duties- teaching French, Spanish, and being a good teacher and approachable role model for the students of North Penn High School.

Skyler Simpson

Mrs. Danielle Regan takes on many duties- teaching French, Spanish, and being a good teacher and approachable role model for the students of North Penn High School.

TOWAMENCIN- Mrs. Danielle Regan’s first passion was Spanish. For as long as she can remember, she has always loved the language. When she was deciding what to do with her life, Regan knew that she wanted it to involve the language somehow. That love ended up becoming the foundation of her teaching career, making each day spent at North Penn worthwhile.

“My first love was Spanish. Before I started teaching French, I taught Spanish for many years,” Mrs. Regan recounts. “I wanted to share my enthusiasm for teaching Spanish.”

To some, she’s known as Madame Regan instead of Señora Regan.

“In college, I majored in Spanish and I had to take a second language. I minored in French, so eventually I got my certification to teach French a few years later,” shared Regan.

After getting her graduate degree in foreign language and secondary education, Regan was a substitute teacher in different districts. For 7 years, she acted as a stand-in with little job security at the end of each school year. She knew she was qualified to do more and set out to find a permanent workplace.

She saw an ad about teaching at North Penn, applied for the job, and she was accepted. Regan had been previously teaching at the Norristown school district for 5 years, and resigned from the position in favor of NPHS. Now, she couldn’t be happier.

“The thing that makes me love my job is feeling a connection to the kids. It doesn’t even have to be about what I’m teaching, like if they’re good at Spanish or understand something in French. When somebody is having a bad day, or feels like they don’t have anyone else to talk to, they feel like they can count on me. That really makes me feel like I’m doing something right,” stated Regan.

When somebody is having a bad day, or feels like they don’t have anyone else to talk to, they feel like they can count on me. That really makes me feel like I’m doing something right.”

— Danielle Regan

Regan has spent 14 years teaching, and along with that came experience. When she first started teaching, she focused on the analytical part of it as opposed to the emotional part. As time went on, she realized that the best way to get through her students was to build individual connections with them so that they could learn to trust and appreciate her.

“If you’re having a bad day, or somebody died, or your boyfriend broke up with you – put your head down, go to the nurse, take a break,” said Regan. “If you were just out sick for 2 weeks, I don’t expect you to make up the work right away. It becomes less about discipline and more about compassion.”

The love she has for her students accumulates through an entire year, which becomes bittersweet once June rolls around. The one thing she wishes students would do more is visit and remember the fun times they had in class.

“If I had one takeaway I wanted my students to have – of course I want them to know the language, and if they say they want to study it in the future, that’s awesome. It’s great that I helped inspire them with a passion for that language. But at the very least, I hope that I will be remembered as somebody whose class was fun and inviting… I hope they enjoyed being around me, because I made them feel welcome and comfortable,” shared Regan. 

Although she loves her job, teaching is huge commitment that requires hard work. Most students don’t realize how much effort goes into teaching, especially behind the scenes. A majority of the work isn’t even done in the classrooms, but the time goes into things such as prep, grading, and planning.

“I would say the hardest thing [about being a teacher] is when an administrator, a parent, or someone in public talks about the job like they know what it’s like. They say ‘Oh, well you get summers off, so stop complaining.” Regan reflected. “Well, I work maybe 10 hours a week outside of school, and if you add that up, that adds up to the summer.”

Another misconception about teachers is that teaching is what they have to do – all the time.

“You have to be a friend, you have to be a parent, you have to be a counselor. There’s really a lot more than what happens when you’re standing in front of the classroom,” stated Regan.

You have to be a friend, you have to be a parent, you have to be a counselor. There’s really a lot more than what happens when you’re standing in front of the classroom.”

— Danielle Regan

Despite the hardships that teaching can bring, Mrs. Regan loves her job and wouldn’t change it for the world.

“This is going to sound corny, but there’s this one saying I really like. If you ask a teacher what they teach – years ago, my answer would have been Spanish –  but now, my answer is kids. Even though I’m here to teach languages, I’m here for so much more,” concluded Regan.