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AATSP Member Spotlights


Member Spotlight

Every month, the AATSP “spotlights” one of its members in an attempt to recognize the many ways in which AATSP members promote the study and teaching of Spanish and/or Portuguese at all levels of education. We invite you to read the current spotlight below. You can also click at the bottom of this page to view archived spotlights. 

Jessica Bell'Aver


Bluffdale Elementary School

Bluffdale, UT




My name is Jessica Bell’Aver. I am currently working as a Portuguese teacher in a Dual Language Immersion program in the state of Utah. Learning and teaching a foreign language started very early in my life. I have always loved languages and all the opportunities that are brought to life when you know a second language (or a third, fourth…). The awareness of cultural diversity and empowerment that learning a new language provides to a person goes beyond the books; it creates and sustains human connections.

I believe that my role as a teacher is to provide a safe and a rich environment to offer the best learning experiences to my students. I understand that students should be exposed to different ways of learning, once human beings have several ways of processing information. I agree with Vygotsky and his studies on the importance of social interactions in the learning process, and for Piaget and his thoughts on learning by doing is better than learning by just being told. I learn so much from my students and this is one of the most interesting parts of being a teacher; we must have our minds wide open all the time and be willing to learn, adapt, re-plan and innovate!

Besides my work inside the classroom, I am constantly seeking to refine my professional career by attending several professional developments, getting endorsements, participating in conferences and seminars. I strongly believe that we, teachers, are always researching and studying new ways to approach the content, to manage our classrooms and to help our students succeed in life.

I became a member of AATSP in my second-year teaching here in the US, right after I found out about the association and all the great work they do. That year, my colleague Edson Rabelo and I attended the National Conference in San Diego, California. We presented a session about the work we have been developing with our students, from 1st and 6th grade, in terms of counterbalanced practices and the use of learning targets in the classroom.      


Jessica Bell’Aver is a first grade Portuguese teacher in the Dual Language Immersion program in Utah (USA). She teaches at Bluffdale Elementary where she received the Jordan School District 2019-2020 Outstanding Educator Award. She advises on how to effectively integrate technology in the classroom.

Before coming to the US, Jessica worked in the education field in her native Brazil for twelve years. She worked as a Pedagogical Coordinator in a private High School. She started her career working in Daycares with very young children, then with elementary, middle, and high school students.   

Jessica graduated with a degree in pedagogy with a focus on ESL and education management. She also holds a Master’s degree in teaching from the Federal University of Parana (Brazil).

As a very active professional, Jessica is a dedicated advocate for language learning for all students. She often presents at conferences at the state and national level on topics related to the use of learning objectives in the classroom, counterbalanced approach and digital technology integration.

In the little free time she has left, Jessica loves to travel and explore new places with her husband. She also enjoys spending time with her dog, listening to music and going hiking! Her plan is to continue teaching Dual Language Immersion and keep on learning from this experience. She is always looking forward to enhancing the learning experiences for her students by being a reflective teacher and a language learning advocate.  


Click below to view archived AATSP Member Spotlights

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