Bilingual is Better

Volunteering in a dual immersion classroom

Some weeks ago I posted an update on my personal Facebook profile sharing how much I love volunteering at my daughter’s kindergarten Spanish immersion classroom. Not even five minutes later I get a text from a very good friend whom I spend a lot of time with teasing me about using the word “love” in the same sentence as “volunteering.” She kept on going that there was no way I could love that and I had to be exaggerating.

I told her she was totally off. She’s actually right in assuming I’m not the school-volunteering type, in the sense that I did try attending PTA meetings and all that jazz, but soon realized that where I really was more valuable and could make some direct impact was in the classroom.

One peculiar thing about dual immersion programs is that parents must not only be incredibly committed, but also very involved. The only drawback, is that for parents to be allowed to volunteer in the actual classroom, they must be fluent in the target language — in our case, Spanish. You can imagine how difficult this makes it for the teachers to have a steady flow of parents assisting in the classroom; and, yes, parents volunteering are an extremely valuable asset to the teacher. Most parents either work or don’t speak the language fluently enough, but I do.

So, I spend 90 minutes of my morning once per week doing flashcards of words and numbers in Spanish with my girl’s kindergarten classroom and I truly do love it. It’s created a very special bond between my daughter, her teacher and even with her classmates that I can’t put a value to.

I actually wrote a story that I’m sharing on Babble called “Flashcards With My Daughter” that describes exactly why I volunteer and the impact it has on my daughter and my involvement in her bilingual education. Please click here to read it. I think you will love it ;) .

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