Mr. Sanchez Savors Opportunity to Help Language Learners

Kimberlee Lopez, Reporter

Mr. Erick Sanchez knows a little something about working with English Language Learners because he is one. Having emigrated from Metapan, El Salvador, at age five, Mr. Sanchez had to learn English in a new country. Now he has a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Latin American Studies from the University of Arkansas.

When he first came to the U.S., Mr. Sanchez was part of the ESL program.

“My biggest inspiration was Mrs. Nancy Gallo, who still teaches at Trusty today,” Mr. Sanchez said. “She will be one of the people in my life I will forever be grateful to because if it wasn’t for her dedication and ambition to make me fluent in English, I wouldn’t have gotten as far as I have.”

Mr. Sanchez loves the diversity here.

“Some of my students are from different places around the world and being able to connect with them and learn more about their culture has been my favorite part,” Mr. Sanchez said. “A few of my students are from my hometown of Metapan, so that has been pretty amazing too.”

Having students at different levels of English knowledge in the same class is Mr. Sanchez’s biggest challenge.

“Attempting to provide the same kind of attention or service to everyone of them in the span of a class period can be difficult,” Mr. Sanchez said.

Mr. Sanchez’s main goal for this school year is to determine if he wants to go from paraprofessional to actual classroom teacher.

“I went to college for a completely different field but have always been curious about teaching, which is why I decided to take on the role of paraprofessional,” Mr. Sanchez said. “Eventually, I would like to continue working in the ESL field along with Social Studies. I love anything affiliated with governmental affairs. This summer, I interned in Washington D.C. and met many senators and representatives, two prime ministers, and the Speaker of the House! I even got to attend oral arguments at the Supreme Court and a few Congressional and Senate hearings. Hopefully one day, I will be able to carry these experiences into the classroom setting.”

Outside of school, Mr. Sanchez enjoys photography and running.

“When I was in junior high, I ran track and cross country, so it’s something I have always enjoyed,” Mr. Sanchez said. “Over time, it became a stress reliever. I have also always been very passionate about taking pictures and mainly focus on scenery, especially when I’m traveling. My friends tell me my pictures are good, but I always doubt my capabilities.”

One surprising fact about Mr. Sanchez is that he can speak three languages: English, Spanish and Italian.

“Italian is still a work in progress,” Mr. Sanchez said.