In my current role as a third-grade math dual language teacher, I have 56 children to look after in total. A large percentage of these children are brought together by the fact that they are first-generation Americans, and that as an effect of this, they are solely Spanish speakers. As their teacher, I am privileged to witness the ingenuity of these special students. Their ability to take lessons given in English and dissect them, gathering every bit of knowledge along the way, in order to break the language barrier they face and come out on top, is a testament to how highly motivated they are to learn and improve on a daily basis their ESL (English as a second language) skills.
Given the school closures and the lack of learning resources my children face at home, many of my students have been relegated to the tedious work of learning line by line from textbooks, writing on notepads, and waiting for “Mom” to take a break from her work at home. I, in turn, have tried to assist parents by sending lesson plans via text message and posting videos to YouTube in order to try and bridge the gap while our children are still learning at home.
I feel for our parents, trying to balance the stress of still going to work through this difficult time, be it at home or actually on-site, and feel that they should not have to also face the frustration and emotional defeat that may sometimes come when neither they nor their child is understanding the day's schoolwork.
While perhaps providing these tools to all students all over America may be too lofty a goal, why not start with these few hard-working, tenacious, and incredibly determined children. I know that given this opportunity many of them will grow into amazing adults, filled with the same philanthropic spirit I hope you’ll allow them to encounter and be inspired by today.
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