A new learning curve

After 3 months of Spanish zoom classes, Profe Crego-Faul, has returned from her maternity journey.


Emi Nelson

Profe Crego, as her students call her, writes on the board as she practices vocab with her students.

For the students of Spanish II, it was a typical spring day. The class was playing Levantense — meaning “stand up” in Spanish — during the class’s Brain Break, and everything was going as usual. Profe would say a vocab word from the current unit in English and as quick as bolts of lightning, two students would compete to say the corresponding word in Spanish. But, something peculiar happened at the start of the next round: Profe paused for a moment and then used a phrase that wasn’t in our unit’s vocabulary, “I’m pregnant!”

Profe Crego-Faul has been the sole leader of the Spanish department at Cannon Falls for the past three years. She’s a hard worker who organizes and prepares three concurrent levels of Spanish curriculum — with approximately 120 highschool students being taught in her classroom throughout the day. For her, nothing is more important than preparing her students for a world filled to the brim with Spanish speakers.

Last Spring, though, the usual circumstances changed. There was a stirring, life changing announcement she had to share with her students: She was pregnant. 

The 2022 school year came to an end, and by August her due date was inching closer. “[That period] was really stressful for me,” she explained. Her doctor was sure of an early due date, yet all she wanted was to stay in the classroom for as long as possible. “The day to day, ‘I don’t know if I’ll be here tomorrow.’ didn’t jive well with my organization and routine.” she said. And on September 13th, which was 12 days early, she departed to take one of the biggest journeys of her life: motherhood.

For three months, Mrs. Crego-Faul was out of school raising a jubilant baby boy and she enjoyed the time off with her child. Yet, it was a whirlwind of emotions being a new mother. According to her it was a big adjustment having to adhere to a newborn’s schedule (or lack thereof one). There were all kinds of unexpected pop-ups, struggles, and unspoken new responsibilities. But ultimately, it was an educational experience, which was rewarding as much as it was difficult.

After being asked if she would have preferred a longer leave, she gave an answer with two sides, “Yes, and no… [As] my heart is in two places.” While she loves her occupation and the connections she has in the community at Cannon Falls, she also loves spending time with her child on her stomach. She was torn between wishing to return and wanting to spend more time with her newly born bouncy baby boy.

Profe Crego was uncertain about what the reaction would be to returning. She had been gone for 12 whole weeks, the longest break she’d ever taken from her job. Yet, pleasantly the embrace she received was greater than she could have expected, “The welcome was super warm, it felt like a big hug.” she gushed. Coming back and receiving affirmation from her students and fellow staff members made her realize how much she wanted to be both a teacher and a mother, “It felt like all my hard work had paid off.”