This autoethnography was conducted at an elementary school not far from the South Texas border. I documented how my journey as a kindergarten, first-grade, and second-grade student has impacted me to become a better educator. Through this qualitative study, I planned to determine if my childhood experiences as an emergent bilingual learner have made an impact in my teaching and the connections I have formed with my students. I analyzed observations of my current teaching practices and my elementary report cards and test scores. After observing my students’ interactions among their peers and my reaction towards their conversations, I found that emergent bilinguals can reach academic achievement, and their learning can be enhanced. Embracing more than one language can be a powerful resource that binds students to a variety of cultures.


academic achievement, emergent bilinguals, reading, kindergarten, student progress, education, culture, literacy, autoethnography

Author Bio(s)

I am currently a reading interventionist and have also taught kindergarten and 2nd grade. I have been teaching for over 19 years and have loved every minute of it. I graduated with a Master’s in Education with a specialization in Reading from the University of Texas Pan-American (UTPA/ UTRGV). My goal is to earn my doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction with a specialization in literacy. I also love reading and keeping up to date with current reading and literacy strategies. Please direct correspondence to cindycantu9@hotmail.com.


I would like to thank my wonderful husband, Mike, my two beautiful daughters, Emma and Ava, and my delightful poodle, Snowy.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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