On August 31st, Christhian Saavedra spoke to our Newcomer class at Oakdale Middle School. He shared his story of coming to the United States in Middle School and the difficulties of having to learn English at the same time as he was learning all of the content in his classes.
Mrs. Kinney, the classroom teacher, shared, " I want to once again thank you for coming to our Newcomer classroom at Oakdale and bringing hope and inspiration to our students. They were really encouraged to hear about your journey. Some of them have only been here three months and they feel your same frustrations. I was so excited about what an inspiration you were to my students. We have many Newcomers that exit our program who are now in regular classes. Sometimes they are even more frustrated by this transition because they are no longer in a sheltered environment where everyone is basically at the same stage in their language learning. Now they are in regular classes taking courses that are very rigorous in academic language. These students are even more at risk of frustration because they no longer have the EXTRA support of knowing everyone in their classroom is going through similar issues. I also think the families of these students would benefit from hearing your story. I share my story with my students and families, but my hurdles were not quite as high as yours since I came from Cuba in first grade and had more time to learn English.
Thank you and you are truly an inspiration and a blessing to our District!"