Immigrant Grandparents Inspire Ms. Vargas


Back when Ms. Sophie Vargas attended Arkansas Tech University, she majored in music education. Now, she works with English language learners (ELLs) here.

In addition to her degree in music education, Ms. Vargas holds a certification in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from the Council of International Education Exchange (CIEE).

“I enjoy working with students in small groups or one on one and felt that the paraprofessional position was a good fit to start,” Ms. Vargas said. “I plan to apply my music education background throughout my career in some shape or form.”

Ms. Vargas’ grandparents inspired her to become an ELL paraprofessional.

“They worked hard to learn English when they emigrated to the United States from Mexico, and that work ethic inspired me to help students achieve their goals in a bilingual setting,” Mrs. Vargas said.

What Ms. Vargas likes best about Kimmons is the emphasis on the Capturing Kids’ Hearts (CKH) program.

“CKH builds a positive culture with the students and staff,” Ms. Vargas said.

One of Ms. Vargas’ favorite moments is when she substituted for an academic reading class, and she played interactive games with the students to help them practice their vocabulary.

“Their enthusiasm and excitement to improve their language skills was a wonderful moment to experience with them,” Ms. Vargas said.

Dissolving the language barrier with her students is one of Ms. Vargas’ biggest challenges as an ELL paraprofessional.

“It is very important to connect with the class and accomplish our tasks for each day,” Ms. Vargas said. “I work to improve my skills in their native language, just as they work to improve their skills in English.”

One surprising thing about Ms. Vargas is that she was accepted into a Teach Abroad program in South Korea.

“This program allows teachers to travel to a different country and teach English there with other resident teachers,” Ms. Vargas said.

Outside of school, Ms. Vargas enjoys taking day trips because she likes to explore new cities and find fun places to return to.

“I also enjoy playing saxophone in the River Valley Community Band because I can see old colleagues and have fun playing my instrument,” Ms. Vargas said.