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Returning Back to America by Humberto Rodriguez

By @EnglishTeacher

Returning Back to America by Humberto Rodriguez

I was born in St Louis Missouri, but both of my parents are from Mexico. Both of my parents speak English but in our house we only speak Spanish because they both want me and my brothers to be completely bilingual, fluent in Spanish and English. In 2013 my mom had an emergency in Mexico with my grandmother and decided to leave the country even knowing we were not gonna be able to come back in a while. After waiting for 3 long years we had the privilege of returning back legally to the United States of America. I started elementary in second grade Without remembering any English and a lot of struggles. This was not going to last forever, now we have the opportunity to go back twice a year to visit family in Mexico.

 Being bilingual brings so many open opportunities as a person or as a professional. And This is why my mom thinks talking only Spanish at home was going to bring us to the point of becoming bilingual.  This is the reason why my mom didn’t introduce English during the first 5 years of my life, she knew as soon as I started school that English was going to become my main language. My first productive 8 hours are in school and the only language I speak is English, part of the following 8 hours at home I do homework, TV, and play Xbox in English. This is already the majority of my time. During dinner and family time it’s only Spanish. 

We left the USA because my Grandma had a stroke. It was a hard Decision to make Because my mom was in the process of getting her legal US Resident card. 3 to 5 years is the time the legalization process takes, and she cannot come back to the US during this time. Another reason that was hard was because my dad had to work in the US, so my family was apart like many other immigrants but we had to Make this decision because this could be our last time seeing our grandma. The good news was after two strokes, two brain surgeries, 15 days in the hospital, and half of her body paralyzed. 

We returned to Saint Louis MO  in 2015. I was happy to see my dad because we haven’t seen him in a while. We used to see him once in a while in Mexico but being with them everyday doesn’t feel the same as seeing him at different times. I was sad to leave Mexico because we spent so many memories together with friends and family. But excited  to go back to school and see old friends and teachers. One of my friends that I knew since kindergarten and now I’m still friends with him till this day. I struggled at the beginning because I did not know How to read, write, speak or understand English.

There was a woman named Dr. Jacobson or Dr. J, she was my ESL teacher, a great teacher that has made a difference in my life. She helps me with my grammar, reading, writing, and spelling. Everyday she would pick me up from my class and teach me the abc and letter sound and I was a third grader. I didn’t like it at all but it was the best for me. I started off reading kindergarten books and made my way up.  

I thought grammar was not that important and felt bored most of the time. I used to get mad because she took me out of my classroom time when we were doing fun stuff. It got to the point where I didnt want to go anymore. I used to think to myself “ Why do i have to be in this boring class?”  

She told me that “reading is the key to everything” and that’s what made me take her little classes with her seriously. Every time I went up a grade I got better and better. When I went to middle school she helped me with a lot of work. I also need to name Mrs. Hunter a teacher with a lot of knowledge and patients, she work with me and my mom, who use to go to my class and translate everything the teacher was saying, she did it for the whole year from 8am to 3pm helping me my sister and my brother, a full time job without getting paid, and last but not least  Mrs. Sharp my home teacher in middle school who was alway making sure I was on the right track. These are the people who have helped me become bilingual and the honor student I am.

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