1st Grade to Now


August Elementary Yearbook 2014-2015

5th grade teacher at August Elementary.

Ms.Rahe is a teacher at August elementary that has helped the student, Brian Mendoza, in various ways. Brian was born in Michoacan, Mexico in the year of 2002. When Brian arrived in this country at the age of 5, he only spoke Spanish. On the contrary, Ms.Rahe didn’t understand a single word of Spanish therefore, a major problem was developed. In a recent conversation they had, he asked, “How did you feel when you first met me in first grade?” and, “How was it to teach a Non-English speaker?”

To this she stated, “When you were a student in my first grade class, I think it was also my first year as a teacher. Everything was new. None of my teaching credential classes prepared me for students who did not know any English. I was sure I would fail as a teacher, unable to give you everything you needed.”

Although feeling despaired, Ms. Rahe never gave up on Brian. She treated him exactly the same way she treated the others because she knew he was capable of achieving the same goals. In a recent interview Brian stated, “Her first grade class was probably the hardest class I’ve ever taken, but the one I learned from the most.” After first grade, Brian’s knowledge in the English language grew significantly.

Ms.Rahe, once more was Brian’s teacher for 6th grade. Ms. Rahe was asked in a recent interview, “How did Brian differ when he was in your first grade class to when he was in your 6th grade class.”

She responded, “In 6th grade you spoke so much more!  You contributed to class conversations and you were wicked quick with your responses. There was a clear understanding that you wanted to learn and that you wanted to do well. You had a lot of friends and seemed much happier, not as serious.”

Brian stated, “She’s the reason why I wanted to get out of ELD.” They shared a common interest both in ancient civilization and their cultures. In that same year, she happened to teach social studies. With the nice student and teacher relationship they had, Brian was motivated to do all the possible work to be part of that class. Although Brian had her for all the other subjects, he really wanted that class because he had a curiosity toward social studies which is a class he never had before.

During first grade, Brian was assisted by Ms. Rahe, staff members, and other students to learn the basics of English. At this point, he was barely able to speak for his basic needs. In 6th grade, he was able to increase his knowledge on the English language to the point where he never got a grade lower than a B/80% in a test, project, essay or presentation.In addition, he excelled in math. Not only did he expand his knowledge in English, but was now able to think critically and utilize the information presented to him to prove or let others see his point of view.

Ms. Rahe has helped Brian increase his chances of academic success from the age he started school in this foreign country to 6th grade to now. Hopefully, his success and knowledge in this country will grow to the point where he reaches his goals in the near future.