cstravato's Pre-k World

The life of a Teacher / Student / Mother

Preparations to Better Support Immigrant Students



I chose to begin my preparation with Mexican immigrants since “more that 11.7 million Mexican immigrants reside in the U.S. accounting for 28 percent of the 42.4 million foreign-born population by far the largest immigrant origin in the county (Zong, 2016).” Being more aware of the populations that may make up my class it will give my students and me an advantage for a positive start in this up coming year. The more aware I am about the population of student in my class and the more I know about each, the better prepared I will be to communicate and collaborate with students and families.

The U.S. Bureau 2010-1014 census data shows a small population of Mexican immigrants reside in CT (Zong, 2016) where I teach. This data tells me Mexican immigrant students in my class may not have a strong support system in our school district.   I will be more aware to put an emphasis on school and community resources may be valuable information to share with my Mexican immigrant families.

The U.S. Bureau 2010-1014 census data shows, “Mexican immigrants are less likely to be proficient in English or speak it at home than the over all foreign-born population (Zong, 2016). This data tells me since I have a deficit of only knowing the English language I will need to be more aware of the possible language barriers for my students and their families. I will need to be vigilant in providing all materials in Spanish as well as English. This information also tells me all labels and information in the classroom should be in Spanish as well as English, to send the message that all students and families are welcomed and respected. Knowing that English may not be my students primary language I will be more aware of a need for visual teaching tools and reference materials for Spanish and English translations.

Knowing that “immigrant students and their families are challenged with the conflict of wanting to maintain and be proud of their heritage languages and cultures, and trying to fit in and even join the majority group (Zugel, 2012) I will be more aware of messages I consciously and unconsciously send to families. By including native languages as a regular part of my classroom I can begin to send the message all culture is valued in our classroom. I will also be more conscious to include literature representative of Mexican heritage and culture. Including dolls, foods, and other materials representative of Mexican culture can continue to send the message that everyone’s heritage and culture are important and should not vanish.

Knowing immigrant “students may lack the educational background often present in American students, they may enter school with much lower skills in math and language skills (Zugel, 2012) I will be more aware of a possible need for extra academic support at school and home. I offer families materials to support student learning at home and provide additional support at school as needed. Supporting a strong academic foundation early will support life long success and confidence.

The more I research the more I become aware of possible challenges for immigrant students and their families. Being an early education teacher I have one of the first opportunities to make a difference in all my students lives and educational journey. I need to take the time to get to know my students and their families to know how to truly support them to the best of my ability. I strive for a classroom void of micro-aggressions, bias, and prejudice. This can only be accomplished, by opening my eyes to all my students have to offer and the challenges they face.





Zong, J., Batalova, J. (2016). Mexican Immigrants in the U.S. On line Journal of

immigration Policy Institution.


Zugel, K. (2012). Cultural Challenges Faced by Mexican Immigrant Students.

University of Nevada.






Author: cstravato

I am a wife of 14 years and have two boys, one is 10 and an the other is 8. They are busy and keep us hopping. I have been a pre-school teacher for 9 years with a break in the middle to teach kindergarten in FL for three years, and I had the luxury of staying home with my two boys for a few years. I enjoy teaching pre-school age children it gives me great pride to help set a generation up to succeed in their school careers and life. I am currently going back to school to complete my masters degree in early childhood education at Walden University.

4 thoughts on “Preparations to Better Support Immigrant Students

  1. Even as adult, I feel accepted when I hear a Caucasian try to speak Spanish as a way of embracing our culture in American Society. I recently met someone who I thought was a bit intimidated by, but then discovered she was part of the Peace Corps and did work in South America. Since then, I feel more comfortable being around her and interacting with her holding a random conversation. As a kid, homework was difficult because I had no one to help me further understand what I was doing. Since then, I’ve learned I had to work twice as hard to equal the same result as some of my peers. What I found to help me the most during school were after school programs to access that one on one time with teachers to safely ask the questions I didn’t understand without embarrassing myself in front of the class.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Christina,
    You did an excellent job of analyzing the data found and using it to best benefit you within the classroom. You made great points throughout, one that I will be sure to always keep in mind is the language barriers. I work within a center where we do not have anyone that speaks any language other than English, but we label everything within the classroom in English and Spanish. You made a point to be more aware of a need for visual teaching tools and reference materials for Spanish and English translations. This is important for me to remember because in the case that we do encounter a child that does not speak English, I am sure that visual teaching aids will be very beneficial for communication within the classroom.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Christina,
    I am impressed with the evidence you found to support your goals in integrating a new family to your classroom! I can tell that you really are trying to include the child and family throughout your room to avoid cultural discontinuity. I also like how the more research you do you find more opportunities to have an anti-bias class. By being open-minded, you will be able to meet those challenges you find when meeting families from other countries. We have learned so much in this course about cultural identity and social identity that it would be difficult to not create a welcoming classroom.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi,

    I thought it was great that you chose a Mexican family to offer support and learn about their culture to be more culturally responsive to them. This is a great place to learn more about because I feel like this culture more than any comes to america to learn and integrate themselves into society all while knowing little english. I see it a lot in the childcare system, and in schools, There is so much to learn about the culture and so much that can be taught to them especially transitioning and learning another language which may be a big thing when working with mexican families who speak little to no english. I love the detail you included and what you found to start help with working with a family of this culture. Thanks for sharing!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s