2019 Foreign Language Academy Teacher of the Year

English Language Learner Teacher Ryan Robinson


Ryan Ewing Robinson
Foreign Language Academy
K-8 English Language Learner Teacher

How are you working to increase equity in education and opportunity for students in your school?
Two years ago, I decided to lead a weekly English class to the parents of my students who were interested in strengthening their proficiency of the English language. I knew this would not only improve the lives of the adults that attend, but the students, school environment, and community as a whole. Each week, with the assistance of current and former students, parents enhance their English abilities, while also becoming aware of school and local events. The unity between all participants has allowed for greater communication between home and school with increased participation throughout the year. I smile with such pride every time I see each piece of the puzzle working collectively.

What message about public education do you want to share?
Studies across time have shown the importance of parental involvement. While some schools or districts across the country report high parental participation, this is not the case for many Hispanic communities. A language barrier, unfamiliar culture, and lack of resources create an intimidating environment for many Hispanic families. Family support is critical in paving the road to success for these students. Creating a welcoming climate that provides resources in multiple languages, teacher initiative, and programs for support in the home, allow for success for students and parents. Daily communication, sending resources home, in conjunction parent English class, I am constantly building the bridge between school and the Hispanic home.