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Bicultural Negotiation

26 Jun

I spent three years teaching in Medellin Colombia, where I became an excellent Spanish speakers. My Spanish is still good, but not as good as it used to be. Although our school is majority Hispanic, I speak English most of the day. I’m speaking more Spanish these days because I’m coordinating our ESL summer school and talking with a lot of parents. So I’m dusting off my language and culture skills and working in English & Spanish. I’m also learning to negotiate the world of administration. It is a completely different planet than being a teacher.

This got me thinking about Allen Say’s new picture book  The Favorite Daughter.


It relates a time when his biracial daughter, a blonde girl of Asian descent, was struggling with identity. I like the gentle way he encourages her and helps her deal with teasing and the fact that she is a little from her classmates. As always, Say’s illustrations are wonderful and capture his daughter’s emotions along with the surroundings they visit.

So, my Spanish skills are getting better and I’m learning to be an administrator (I’ve learned enough to know I don’t want to do this as a career). I’m hopeful that my summer school experience will end as happily as The Favorite Daughter.

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