Alejandro Rodriguez • The Good of Goshen

Alejandro Rodriguez

Teacher, West Goshen Elementary School

Published March 2019

I was thinking about applying to other schools that weren’t in Goshen. However, I liked that there was a community here wanting to help me grow as a person and as a professional. I work at Goshen Community Schools as a second-grade teacher and I help coach the high school girls and boys cross country and distance track team. I’ve worked for Goshen Community Schools for three years now and it was a smooth transition from Goshen College, where I graduated.

My dad migrated from California when I was young and he tried to provide a better opportunity for us through work. My brothers, sisters, and I went to school not knowing English, and it was a hard transition for us. I think that’s what planted that seed in me to help kids with the barriers they might have, whether those barriers involve language or something else. I want to help students who don’t have that voice and create a good relationship with them.

I really enjoy teaching in Goshen because of the Latino population, and being able to see the barriers that might be there for that population of the school that other teachers may not be able to see. We don’t really see a lot of Latino males in teaching roles in lower education, so it always surprises students when I tell them I’m fluent in Spanish. The kids’ parents are very kind, and I hope and think they feel comfortable telling me what they need or what issues they might have. I enjoy being part of Goshen Community Schools because I can help with the ever-growing assistance they have for students who may be struggling. There are more English Language teachers than there were in prior years, and we’ve made the move for intervention for students who may need language support or who are struggling with poverty.

Goshen is such a strong community, and it supports local businesses and young professionals. Often, If I ask someone who they know here, we’ll both end up finding someone we know. Goshen College is here, too, so growing educationally within our degrees is easy. The professors are always willing to help and be a connection, too. It’s a good place to grow.

In a sense, Goshen is diverse and has come a long way. I think there are still ways it can be more diverse, but we’ve done a good job of intentional diversity in Goshen. The whole Goshen Community Schools staff puts our focus on the kids and educates them to become better citizens of and innovators in the world – no matter where they come from. Sometimes they might not see that they have that support or potential, so we try to show that to them and help them be the person they want to be and can be.

Editor • Maddie Yost, Scott Weisser
Interview + Photography • Olivia Copsey

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