M.A. Teaching, Critical Bilingual Education (Spanish) Concentration Graduate on Becoming a Bilingual Educator

Alondra smiling

Alondra Aguilar – 24′ M.A. Teaching, Critical Bilingual Education (Spanish) Concentration

We had the opportunity to get to know Alondra Aguilar, an M.A. Teaching, Critical Bilingual Education (Spanish) Concentration student who graduated this Spring 2024. She also received a Multiple Subject Credential with a Critical Authorization in Spanish. 

Ever since Alondra was a little girl, she knew what she wanted to be when she grew up: an elementary school teacher. Alondra’s goal was to work alongside the teachers who molded her youth, and from a young age, she did everything she could to stay on the right path to succeed in her educational goals. This included taking Early Childhood Education courses and participating in teaching internships, ultimately leading her to pursue a Multiple Subject Degree.

Speaking about the Spanish aspect of her bilingual degree, Alondra tells us, “Growing up, bilingual education was not something I saw or had heard of. School has always been an ‘English environment,’ with Spanish spoken only with my friends or at home. It was not until my younger sister was going to middle school that I became aware that additive language development was being implemented to uphold students’ identities. When it came to applying to graduate school, I could not pass up the opportunity to become a bilingual educator and be part of a community that embraced the knowledge and abilities students already brought with them.”

Finding a Home at SJSU

Choosing SJSU was an easy decision for Alondra. Having already built a home at SJSU during her undergraduate years in the Child Development program, transitioning to a graduate degree felt like the perfect pathway. In addition, SJSU was close to home, allowing her to stay connected with her family. The diversity and accessibility of the university also made it an ideal choice. 

Alondra shares more about her journey at SJSU: “If I were given the chance to do it over again, I would continue to choose SJSU. I decided to pursue a graduate degree to propel myself forward. I could have simply gone for a teaching credential, but as a first-generation Latina, I needed to prove to myself and the world that I was capable of achieving higher education. Not only would it open more doors for me in the future, but it would also demonstrate that people like me can achieve the same things and handle the rigor of graduate school.”

Alondra noted that she could not have done it without the support of the SJSU faculty. Her professors were instrumental in guiding her, helping her realize her potential, assisting with applications, and writing recommendation letters. Meeting her placement supervisor in her first semester was another significant advantage, as they developed a strong bond. She tells us, “She has seen my growth from the start, provided me with support when I needed it, and shared her extensive teaching knowledge. The faculty at SJSU are always ready to help, answering questions and emails quickly, and providing the best responses.”

Looking Ahead

After graduation, Alondra hopes to begin her teaching journey within the community where she grew up. When we asked her to share some words of wisdom for future graduate students, she said, “My advice from one student to another is to take things one day at a time and enjoy the ride. It may seem really stressful looking at all the components of graduate school, but when you take a step back and reflect on the accomplishment waiting at the end of the road, it becomes easier to work on a day-to-day basis, slowly making your way through until you find yourself mere moments from everything you have strived for.”

Alondra’s journey is a testament to the power of perseverance, community, and the support of dedicated educators–and the transformational opportunities that SJSU offers. We are excited to see the incredible contributions Alondra will make to her community and the field of education.

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