Wednesday, January 30, 2008

How I Became a Teacher

By René Colato Laínez

Every time I read my books to elementary students, I always give them a message of perseverance.

When I came from El Salvador to the United States, I brought with me a backpack full of dreams. I dreamed of being a good student, becoming a teacher, and writing a book. As an immigrant child, many times these dreams can be hard to reach. But they are not impossible if you fight for them. Yes! Dreams can be accomplished. I did well in school. I was an ESL student but I graduated with honors from High School and college. I became a teacher and now I am an author.

"Never give up. Do your best," I say and the children clap.

I wrote Dear Journal for a class I took with Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy. This journal is about me and my journey from kindergarten to my own classroom as a teacher. It is full of ganas and perseverance. Isabel told me, "this is a powerful story." Many teachers have also told me, "Our students need to read your journal."

Now amigos from La Bloga, I want to present this humble but sincere message of hope to all of you. Let's start with kindergarten.

Copyright © by René Colato Laínez


Dear Journal:

Mamá got a job in the detergent factory where papá works. Papá’s salary is not enough. I have always been with mamá during the day but I won’t be with her anymore. I need to go to “Kinder Garden”. I was excited.

“I will play and run in the “Garden,” I said to mamá. “I love birds and butterflies!”

Soon we came to a big house without flowers, birds nor butterflies.

“This is not a Garden! I don’t like this place!” I said I as stomped my feet.

Mamá gave me a big hug and left. I tried to run but one of the teachers closed the gate.

“Mamá don’t leave me here! I’m scared!” I said with tears in my eyes.

Today was my first day and it was awful. I don’t like the teachers. I want to stay with mamá.

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