Friday, June 28, 2013

Student Spotlight: Melissa Barbier

Melissa Barbier, former Spanish commuinity service learning student.
by Ann Abbott

Some students of Spanish know that they want to become high school Spanish teachers and follow the BAT program

Other students, however, never imagined that they would be interested in teaching, and yet their experiences in school settings during their Spanish community service learning work makes them change their mind.

Read about Melissa Barbier's experience. She is now teaching and doing all the advocacy that she wanted to do.

"I had SPAN 232 Spanish in the Community, Fall 2011. (I miss it so much). My experience was at Leal, tutoring students and working a little in a Spanish Bilingual classroom. During this experience, I was able to see how important it is to make connections with students outside of the classroom. I was able to see some of the struggles that bilingual students have in and out of the classroom. I also learned a lot in the course about what difficulties Spanish-speaking people have in our society, from the troubles they might have getting into the country, to the stereotypes and discrimination that they face - for citizens and undocumented citizens. This class, in conjunction with my teaching placement in a 3rd grade bilingual classroom, made me realize that I feel really strongly about the rights of Spanish-speaking citizens, particularly children. I am now an advocate for equity and quality education that encourages bilingualism, biliteracy, and biculturalism for all Spanish-speaking students. I think it is so important for those students to keep their own culture and language while also learning English and the culture here.

"I would love for other Spanish students to contact me about anything from studying abroad to education to bilingual education and anything else:!"

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