About Me

The “WHY” of My Bilingual Life

This project has been simmering in my brain for quite some time.  For several years now, I have wanted to put my resources up on Teachers Pay Teachers to share with others.  I don’t know why, but life kept getting in the way.  These last few months, I have been really disillusioned with the public school system and am ready to do something different.  I have been teaching ESL online and love that, but I figured maybe now is the time to start putting these resources out.

Next week, the other first grade teachers are planning to do a Mother’s Day Tea.  Last year, I bowed out because I was swamped with everything else going on.  (Did I mention next week is also our final Math Benchmark window?)  I had planned on skipping this again this year, but I was “asked” to participate.  I don’t have any problem doing this for the moms in my class, they are amazing.  The problem is that the first-grade teachers found a beautiful project on TPT that has everything ready to go, you just have to print it up.  So, what’s the problem with that?  It is not in Spanish, and it is only editable to a small extent!  Which means one of a couple of things.  One, I can send it home in English and know that some of the moms will not be able to read it.  Or, I can translate it and come up with my own version.

Now, let me tell you.  This “invitation” to the party is beautiful.  It has pretty colored flowers and the text is several fonts with different colors to match the flowers.  It’s a really well-made product on Teachers Pay Teachers (I’m sorry I don’t have the name of the creator…I did not purchase the product, because after looking at the one my teammate had bought, I realized that it would not be editable).  Then comes the biggest part of the problem.  I was shown a copy during our conference period and I had to send the invitation that afternoon!

So what did I do?  I printed up a quick “title” for an invitation and a sheet with all the details the parents would need.  Rather than printing a beautiful color invitation, I had the students make cards for their moms using the title and details I printed along with their imagination.  I know the mothers will love the cards their babies made, but when I see the invitation the “English-speaking” first-grade class sent home and our version, I’m just sad.  I want our bilingual students to have the invitations with the pretty colored flowers on it.  I want bilingual teachers to have plenty of options to choose from when they search TPT for lessons.

I know I can’t do it all, but I can at least add a few more quality products to the mix.  I did a search on First-grade lessons for plants.  There are 12,635 resources available as of right now using the search term “plant” and selecting 1st grade.  The search term “plants Spanish” brings back 407 results and “plantas” gives 189.  That’s a huge difference!  Also, the quality of the products in Spanish is not the same.  Don’t get me wrong.  There are some amazing sellers that offer products in Spanish, but the majority of them seem to not pay much attention to the “cute” and aesthetic qualities of the product. Trust me I get it….they are probably just trying to get something done for their class and decided to share it.

So, that is my “why”.  I’m opening this store on Teachers Pay Teacher to offer products to bilingual and ESL teachers.  I have told several of my teacher friends, “send me pictures of what you want in Spanish and I’ll try to make something that will work”.  So friends, let me know what resources you need.  I’m putting in my granito de arena to help make sure bilingual teachers have equitable resources.

About Me

My Bilingual Life

Welcome!  I am Twila Godinez.  I was born and raised in southern Illinois and learned Spanish when I caught a love of the language when we visited a mission in Mexico when I was in sixth grade.  I studied and practiced until I became fully bilingual.  I have done many things with my language skills including teaching the GED in Spanish, ESL in an immigration detention facility, and translating for the Public Defenders in the Federal Court System.  But, teaching is in my blood. 

I’ve been teaching in public schools for more than 13 years, and to be honest I’m a bit burnt out.  Most of this time, I have taught Bilingual (Spanish-speaking) children in elementary grades.  While public teachers work their tails off to make things work for their students, there are a lot of things that need to be fixed.  I’m not here to complain about what needs fixing, but these things have left me with a sour taste in my mouth.  

For the past few months, I’ve been trying to find a way to keep enough money coming in without going back into a classroom this fall.  One of the options I have found is teaching English online.  I’ve only been at it for a short while, but I will say I’m absolutely LOVING it!  Every time a class ends, I breathe a sigh of relief and think, “this is what teaching is all about”.  I realized that most of my day in the brick and mortar school is spent on classroom management and discipline.  I feel like I get very little time to actually spend teaching.  

I’m also tired of the inequitable resources available to bilingual teachers.  Like most teachers, I absolutely love Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers.  However, the number of bilingual resources available is much smaller, and we have fewer of the amazing resources that are available in English.  Yes, I know, I could always make my own in Spanish, but who has the time?  That’s my next step.  If I am not teaching full time, then I happen to know someone who could have the time.  I’m going to be offering some of the resources I have used in my classroom on TPT.  (And if you have something you wish you had in Spanish, send a message my way and I’ll see if I can make something that will work). 

So, that’s me in a nutshell.  Outside of teaching, I love horses, reading, and traveling.  I’m hoping that I can do some traveling and teach along the way.  I hope you will join me on this new adventure!   Also, make sure to follow me on social media and let me know if there’s anything I can help you with.