Mrs. Rubio Always Ready to Assist ELLs


From being a child care advocate to an AmeriCorp English tutor to English Language Learner (ELL) paraprofessional, Mrs. Icssa Rubio loves helping her students improve their English language skills and be successful in their daily lives.

Born in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Mrs. Rubio knows what it is like to be an ELL. Having grown up in Lindsay, California, Mrs. Rubio eventually made her way to Fort Smith where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish with a Minor in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) from UAFS.

What Mrs. Rubio likes best about Kimmons is the school dynamics and the welcoming environment from the teachers and staff. As for assisting the ELLs, she hopes to learn about their different cultures and backgrounds.

“That will aid me to better understand their needs,” Mrs. Rubio said.

The biggest challenge Mrs. Rubio faces in being an ELL paraprofessional helping her students work within the time constraints in their core classes, like Science and Social Studies.

“They want to improve their English skills and be successful in school,” Mrs. Rubio said. “In doing so, they want to be very detailed when doing their assignments. That takes time, which makes it harder for them to keep up with the rest of the class.”

Outside of school, Mrs. Rubio loves to spend time with her husband and four kids who range in age from 14 to 26.

“They are important to me,” Mrs. Rubio said. “We enjoy cookouts, going to the movies, and visiting family. We like the outdoors, kayaking, and amusement parks.”

Mrs. Rubio also likes to travel because it offers an array of possibilities, including knowing how others live, how they dress, what they eat, and what they value culturally.

“Growing up, my grandmother and I would travel around various cities in Honduras,” Mrs. Rubio said. “She was a retired teacher and Christian missionary. I loved our long trips, watching the tropical scenery, and making stops to enjoy delicious food, especially fresh fruit. Now, I encourage my kids to travel with me, so that we may also make memories. Sometimes, if we enjoy a certain food, we make sure to learn the name and recipe and then have friends try it out at cookouts.”

One surprising fact about Mrs. Rubio is that she knows some Portuguese and is currently learning sign language since she is hearing impaired.

”Previous jobs involved customer service and translating, and I found that communication is key to better help others,” Mrs. Rubio said. “Knowing the local language is a plus when traveling.”