Russian language offers fun opportunities for students

Ms. Barbee encourages students to enroll for her foreign language class

A'mya Beck, Staff Writer

Have you ever thought about joining a language class here at Silverado? While there are a few you can choose from, such as Spanish or Japanese, there is one language that you don’t usually see on the list–Russian! This language class is something that’s rare to find, so you should take the opportunity and register for this class if you are interested.

Michelle Barbee, the Russian teacher here at Silverado, has been working here with students since 2013 and has been teaching Russian since 1990. Getting interested in learning Russian from a friend, she joined the military and started studying in 1987. After getting far in the language, she started to help other soldiers with any problems they might have been dealing with from trying to understand Russian. That’s where she began to love the feeling of helping and teaching others.

“I began teaching in the military because my fellow soldiers needed help with Russian,” Barbee said. “I loved that feeling of helping.”

After her job in the military, she began teaching at UNLV in 1996 where her career in teaching and education began. After years of experience working with different age groups, Barbee has learned to work with teens better because of something she realized.  

“One thing I have understood over the years is that people don’t remember what you say; they remember how you make them feel,” Barbee explained. “Maya Angelou said something like that, and I have found it to be true in working with teens.”

For students joining next year’s Russian class, Barbee has different ways for teaching and learning opportunities. She incorporates games, group activities, and even art. Barbee is pretty relaxed about classroom rules and the workload she gives her students, so being overwhelmed won’t really be a problem. 

Overall, anyone is welcome to join in learning Russian, and as Barbee says, “Russian is the best language to learn to become a spy!”