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Back to July 6, 2009

Fordham at Work: Marcia Gonzalez


Fordham At Work:
Marcia Gonzalez

Photo by Angie Chen

Resource Specialist, Bronx Bilingual ESL Technical Assistance Center (BETAC)

Two years

Marcia organizes workshops and seminars at BETAC to equip bilingual educators with tools needed to properly teach ESL learners. She also oversees the New York State Bronx BETAC newsletter and covers events that pertain to bilingual education.

“We mostly work with educators, like principals and assistant principals, by training them in hopes that they will give more focused instruction to ESL students. We find that what works for educators are practical and hands-on approaches. We do some work on theory and then we give them practice with it.”

“Because of the political issues concerning bilingual education, sometimes educators are afraid to follow what they believe is the right thing to do. I tell them to go with what they know is right; follow those beliefs that are based on what they have researched. Once they have a firm core of belief, they should go with it.”

“I started off as a speech major and had plans to be a speech pathologist. When I was working at a school with a speech teacher, I saw an interaction between one of the teachers and her class. That made me realize that teaching was something I wanted to do. There is more continuity and more interaction working with students. I started out as a third grade bilingual teacher and have worked as a staff developer, assistant principal and eventually the principal at Community School 66. I was principal there for five years.”

“I like the warm, friendly feeling that you get from everyone—from the students, the professors and the staff. Everyone is willing to help one another. Also, one of my jobs at BETAC is running the newsletter, and this gives me opportunities to go to events and then write about them. I focus on events that would be of interest to the staff and would pertain to the bilingual population, but at the same time relate to Fordham.”

“I like to draw and paint, and I go on weekends to the Art Students League and the National Academy. I do all sorts of different styles. I like abstract the best, but I also do figurative. Throughout my life, I had always wanted to dabble in art, but never found the time to focus on it. Now I’ve been drawing and painting for the last five years.”

—Angie Chen


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