Alexander Hernández ’16 – Whittier Dual Language Academy, Benito Juarez, and Chicago are like no other places I have ever encountered because of the hidden novelties they contain. Even though both my formative education background resembles the ones that I see at Whittier and Benito Juarez, our differences extremely vary. During these past couple of days, I learned that visiting and immersing myself in Chicago was not the same thing.
If I had the option to switch my K-8 schools for Whittier, I would change it in a heartbeat. I would make this transition because the school was able to keep the humane aspect of learning English while polishing their Spanish, and vice-versa. Learning a language that is not an easy thing, especially when the language is an alien language to the family. Being able to help the student enforce the language they know at home, while creating a strong foundation for the new language is just plain amazing because this prevents the English Language Learner student from feeling displaced.
The ability to learn about Cesar Chavez, or explore any other multicultural figure and event, were things I was starving for. Being able to see these kids get to know about their culture, and the cultures of the other, while analyzing through a Wabash lens at their age is just plain jaw dropping.
Even though I have not been to Benito Juarez yet, I am looking forward for it because the high school environment brings a new set of uniqueness.
I found it interesting that visiting and living in Chicago can be a totally different experience. I have been able to explore more the Latino while exposing myself to Middle Eastern and Chinese foods in the past two days have been heaven.
My experiences with this course and my whole fieldwork have been just plain amazing thus far. Everyday has brought new lessons both academically and personally. I learned that is okay to be different because you have your own experiences, knowledge, and skills. I learned that teachers and students are able to finally connect with each other. I learned that no matter how different you are, you are just like any other on public transportation.