My learning process

 

My learning process started the very first day of kindergarten in Newcastle, WY. Unlike the rest of my classmates I did not attend preschool so I didn’t know anyone at all. To top everything off I also didn’t speak a single word of English. My first language is Spanish, and in Newcastle, WY, neither the students nor the teachers could speak Spanish. Luckily though I remember being a very motivated learner and always tried my hardest to learn the new language. I would like to say that it didn’t take long for me to learn the language but I was mute for about half a school year just trying to listen to other students and putting their words and actions together. By the time I was in first grade I was pretty fluent in English, I kept learning throughout the years, never giving up on myself and I was so thankful to have the teachers I did. My biggest inspiration was my kindergarten teacher. She did everything she could so that I would never feel left out and that I would learn the language in the correct manner. She not once ever gave up on me and if it weren’t for her I don’t know if I would be where I am today.  Along with other factors she is one of the reasons I decided to go into education.

As the years went on and I entered high school my passion for learning never changed. Not knowing if I would attend college or not I continued to get good grades every year and make my parents proud of me. They only attended school up until 6th grade before they had to go work to help the family, and education is not as important in Mexico as it is here. College had never been a topic we talked about at my house until I started high school and the school offered college credit courses, enough of them to even get an associate’s degree through Eastern Wyoming college. This was a huge opportunity that I couldn’t let slip through my hands so I went ahead and enrolled to start classes to get my degree the same year I would graduate from high school. I was so determined to get that degree and help my parents out financially. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of high school that I officially decided I would further my education and pursue a career in education. So now I wasn’t just trying to get two degrees at the same time, I was also keeping my grades up so that I could possibly get scholarships from my school to help me once I graduated. I knew this would be tough considering my class had a bunch of smart kids that I would have to keep up with to even be considered for a scholarship. By the end of my senior year I had obtained both degrees and started school with a lot of scholarships so my parents didn’t have to pay as much for my first year.

Coming from a family of 5 sisters and me being the oldest I didn’t want to disappoint my sisters, and I wanted them to have a good role model and someone to look up to and take after. Not only that, but I would be the first person in my entire family to attend college; so this was a huge deal for everyone. They all saw how much effort I had to put into what I was doing and just last year my sister graduated as a valedictorian of her high school class with an associate’s degree and a ton more scholarships than I had, which goes to show that I did become an inspiration to her. Not much has changed about me since the kindergarten me, I am still just as motivated and self-determined to keep learning as I was when I first started learning English as a kid.

 

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14 thoughts on “My learning process

  1. Alondra, you have an inspiring story! Good for you, and good for your sister as well! I loved reading this post, especially of your experience in kindergarten as you were learning the English language. My Spanish is rudimentary, but I took three years of it in high school under a wonderful teacher. My junior year in Spanish III, I had a class of two; myself and another boy. I come from a small town, but every year our elementary school is growing and we are getting in a lot of Spanish-speaking students. On Mondays we would head over to the morning preschool class and we would teach Spanish to all of the students. It was so exciting to see both English students soaking up the language like a sponge, and the Spanish students’ eyes lighting up at the fact that someone understood them. It was a rewarding experience, and it humbled me as a future teacher. It is not always going to be easy, but it is so necessary to include Spanish speaking students in all activities and do my best to help them feel as though they are no different. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

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    • I really liked that you would go into the preschool and teach kids some Spanish. That’s so exciting, I wish that we would have had that in our school, especially since our high school does offer Spanish as a requirement.

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  2. I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it must have been to not know a language and be thrown into a learning environment where they only spoke that language. I hope that some day learning multiple languages will be required at a young age, I think that would benefit us as a country in the long run.
    It sounds like you’ve faced and overcame many obstacles in your life, especially as a learner. Great post!

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    • Thank you, I think that since we are required to learn a new language in high school, it might be more beneficial to start younger, because that kind of stuff sticks to you at a younger age, but I guess we will see. I’m sure not a lot of parents would be happy if that were to change.

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    • It honestly did, To this day this teacher continues to make an impact on ELL learners in the school. I know this because even though my sisters are pretty fluent, they still go and read with her and learn new words with her, and they love her just as much as I do. I will forever be so grateful to have encountered a teacher like her my first year.

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  3. It was enjoyable reading your post! I can so relate to you in the fact that Spanish was my first language. The transistion is difficult because the structure is hard to learn. However like all things, learning at a younger age is simpler than trying to learn it later in life. Still, not being able to properly communicate with peers is something made me terribly sad. It’s crazy to see how far you come and still the whole journey that lies ahead. Best of luck in your teaching endeavors!

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    • It’s always good to hear about other people that were in the same situation as me a few years ago. I agree with you 100%, learning something new at a young age is so much easier than trying to learn it later on in life. I see this within my little sisters and my parents. My sisters are so young but I feel like they know more English than Spanish now, and my parents have been here for over 20 years and they still haven’t been able to speak the language.

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  4. serendipitousencountersblog says:

    You are an inspiration! I admire your drive and dedication to be an inspiration to your younger sisters and your parents. You are going to be an excellent teacher if you take this mindset into the classroom. Getting an associate’s degree is tough enough, but to do it while still in high school is just amazing! Thank you for sharing your learning story!

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  5. I enjoyed learning more about you, Alondra! I can’t imagine learning a whole new language in kindergarten. It sounds like your hard work and determination has taken you far, and I’m sure you will continue reaching more goals and continue making your family proud. Good for you! 🙂

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