A New Mom in a “New Normal”

Spanish Teacher Returns from Maternity Leave


Rebecca Spangler (Courtesy Photo)

Calvin Spangler, son of Spanish teacher Mrs. Rebecca Spangler, smiles for the camera in this courtesy photo. Mrs. Spangler recently returned from maternity leave.

MURRAY, NEB.-Rebecca Spangler is the Spanish teacher at Conestoga Jr./Sr. High School, and since joining the faculty, she has become an important part of the Cougar community.

Spangler didn’t always want to teach though. In fact, she changed her major four times in college before she knew she wanted to be a teacher. She has always liked helping people, loves working with students and teaching an unfamiliar culture. Spangler has a passion for language, which students can take advantage of and hopefully use later in life. As she puts it, “I always tell my students: It’s never going to hurt you to learn another language. It will only help you.”

Spangler already had a connection to Conestoga before she became a teacher here. Her husband and his father have farmed in the area for over four generations, both graduating from Conestoga. They live just north of Murray, so when the previous Spanish teacher retired the spring before she got married, it was perfect timing. She had been wanting to teach at Conestoga, and it was her first choice among schools to work at! She says she loves the six minute drive to school and only having a four day school week.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought some issues that are unique to her classroom though. “Oh man, it’s been crazy,” said Spangler. One of the biggests impacts is that spanish involves a lot of speaking, and it’s more difficult with her not being able to read the lips of students wearing masks, and to communicate with masks in general. She is concerned with making sure to stay safe and making it easier for online learners.

Covid’s impact on education hasn’t been the only concern for Spangler, however. She recently gave birth to her son, Calvin. She says that it was a little scary being pregnant during the pandemic because of how little we knew, including how the virus affects pregnancy. It was hard for her to have to isolate from everyone, including her family. Now that they have been able to have some family over, she wonders what her son Calvin thinks about everyone but his parents wearing masks.

Spangler is sad that she has to leave her son to go to work, because she doesn’t get to see him as much. She is also sad that he won’t be able to have the full experience of a first Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Spangler said that she is happy that she gets to see her students again, though. She says that she really does love teaching and talking to kids who can talk back. “Calvin doesn’t talk back. He just screams, laughs or smiles back, which is fine because he’s a baby,” she said.

Overall Spangler said she is glad to be back, and the school is happy to have her again.

Welcome back Mrs. Spangler!