In response to a boycott call for bilingual educators, a mother and daughter leave Puerto Rico for Virginia

In response to a boycott call for bilingual educators, a mother and daughter leave Puerto Rico for Virginia

It’s not unusual for academics to remain on the similar faculty all through their careers. Even after they change colleges, they usually keep inside the similar district. Venturing throughout state strains for a brand new instructing job, not to mention leaving his homeland, was as soon as very uncommon. However as faculty districts search to deal with cussed instructor vacancies and rent academics who replicate the range of their scholar our bodies, a few of them Expand their recruitment efforts beyond the mainland United States.

Leslian Luna, a veteran instructor from Puerto Rico, responded to such efforts, virtually accidentally. In 2016, Luna attended the Worldwide Educating Jobs Truthful with a pal who was contemplating a transfer. There, she was launched to the International Languages ​​Program at Fairfax County Public Colleges, Virginia, which wanted to recruit extra bilingual academics to rent this system.

This piqued her curiosity, and the only mom of two daughters discovered herself interviewing for a job. Simply three weeks later, Luna left her dwelling and was in a fourth grade class, finding out within the Spanish immersion program at Laurel Ridge Elementary College in Fairfax County. (She now teaches third graders.)

This fall, 24-year-old Luna’s eldest daughter Gabriella Morente adopted in her mom’s footsteps. She’s on her first instructing job as a third-grade Spanish immersion instructor at Bailey Elementary Excessive College of Arts and Sciences in Falls Church, Virginia. Schooling Week spoke to academics about their expertise leaving their stunning island dwelling to show in one of many largest faculty districts within the US mainland Learn their interview under, edited for size and readability.

Schooling Week: How did you study concerning the instructing alternative in Fairfax, Virginia?

Luna: I went to a job honest in Puerto Rico with a pal. There I heard concerning the Spanish immersion program at Fairfax County Public Colleges in Virginia the place kids, beginning in kindergarten, study Spanish whereas taking English content material in a bilingual program. I used to be like: Wow, I’ve by no means heard of something like this earlier than. It was nice to me that the scholars in this system grew to become bilingual. After I heard that they had been on the lookout for a speaker who would educate Spanish, I used to be very curious.

Schooling Week: How exhausting is it to turn into an worker in Virginia?

Luna: As a result of Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the US, it was straightforward for me to maneuver right here. Inside three weeks of the interview, I used to be employed. I had a sense from the beginning that this is able to be good for my life.

Schooling Week: What was essentially the most enticing factor to you about transferring to Virginia for a instructing place?

Luna: Wage. I acquired a giant elevate, three and a half instances greater than my wage at dwelling.

Schooling Week: What did you allow behind?

Luna: all the things. My household, my associates. I principally moved right here with out anybody realizing. Puerto Rico has a few of the happiest individuals on the earth.

Schooling Week: How did you alter to your new job and life in Virginia?

Luna: Academics, mother and father and the group. I say they’re angels. I’ve a scholar from Korea and China. Their household grew to become my household.

Schooling Week: What concerning the fundamentals like transportation and housing?

Luna: For the primary month or two, I stayed with a instructor from the world who opened her home for me, as a result of I did not know the place to remain. Then I rented an residence very near my faculty, after which I obtained a automotive. My youngest daughter’s center faculty was two blocks from my faculty.

Schooling Week: Gabriella, you’ve determined to review on your instructional diploma in Puerto Rico earlier than transferring to Virginia to take a job this yr as a Spanish immersion instructor at Fairfax County Public Colleges. How do you’re feeling about leaving your private home for the US?

Morenty: It was exhausting to depart my household and my island. My mother and father, brother and grandmother stay in Puerto Rico. No person needs to depart [Puerto Rico]. That is the place you’re from. However I used to be additionally prepared to show right here. In Puerto Rico, many of the issues we realized in school got here from the US. Most of the instructing methods they confirmed us [during college classes in Puerto Rico] She was truly from colleges in Virginia.

Schooling Week: Leslian, what are a few of the variations you’ve seen between instructing right here and in Puerto Rico?

Luna: Households in Puerto Rico are very useful academics. They love the academics. They need their kids to study. However assets in Puerto Rico are very restricted. Colleges would not have air con, computer systems are restricted. After I got here right here, the principal took me on a tour and confirmed me the instructor’s provide room. It had cardboard, markers, and all the things. I mentioned to her: Can I take advantage of all the things right here? I could not consider it. I did not have to color my class right here both. In my old style in Puerto Rico, I used to color yearly.

Schooling Week: How do these variations have an effect on you as a instructor?

Luna: Now, I can simply arrange my class and prepare to show the scholars all of the issues they should study.

Schooling Week: Some other variations that stood out to you whenever you first began instructing in Virginia?

Luna: knowledge. Right here, you realize all the things forward of time as a result of [standardized] assessments made by college students. precisely the wants of your college students. In Puerto Rico, I had by no means seen standardized assessments earlier than I taught college students.

Schooling Week: What concerning the variations between the scholars right here in comparison with the scholars in Puerto Rico?

Luna: By way of behaviour, kids are kids all around the world. The issues they attempt to do in Puerto Rico, and the way they act, are the identical right here. Exterior of college, kids have extra freedom in Puerto Rico. As a result of it’s a small island, they will do issues on their very own like go to the seaside.

Schooling Week: What can the Fairfax County faculty system study from Puerto Rico’s faculty programs?

Luna: Fairfax County has an incredible faculty system, however I feel what’s lacking is the cultural half. I really like the range right here. However I might like to see it displayed extra. In Puerto Rico, now we have Puerto Rico Day the place we showcase the traditions of our tradition, our music, and our meals. I would wish to see extra of that right here.

Morenty: I agree. We’ve lots of college students from totally different components of the world the place I educate; Perhaps each month we might have a unique “present the place you’re from”.

Luna: Concerning that, I would really like the Spanish immersion academics right here to make associates with the scholars in Puerto Rico in order that they will [students] You’ll be able to meet different college students of the identical age, make Zoom movies with them, and get to know them.

Schooling Week: Do you contemplate Virginia your everlasting dwelling now?

Luna: sure. Now my brother and sister are right here in Virginia, my mom and youthful sister stay in one other state in the US. I really like Virginia. After I moved right here six years in the past, I used to be single. A number of years in the past, I met a Puerto Rican man right here and obtained married.

Morenty: I wish to have kids sooner or later, and I would really like them to go to highschool in Fairfax County.


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