I Wish I Were in Puerto Rico Right Now

By Mary Ann Zehr — March 19, 2008 1 min read

“How serious are you about leaving your beautiful Puerto Rico and moving to the U.S.?” a recruiter from the Boston public school system asks a Puerto Rican teacher being wooed to work in Boston, according to a March 18 Boston Globe article.

“Don’t do it,” I protested internally, as I read this article about how Nydia Mendez, director of programs for English-language learners for the Boston school system, and others recently visited Puerto Rico to recruit bilingual teachers. I was thinking of a moment when I visited Boston and stood on an elevated platform in winter, waiting for a train, chilled to the bone. I contrasted that with a time I took a vacation to Puerto Rico and snorkeled in warm waters under a bright sun.

On this cloudy March day, I wish I were in Puerto Rico.

But Ms. Mendez, who grew up in Puerto Rico, obviously has found reason to live and work in Boston, and maybe she’ll succeed in getting some of those teachers she spoke with on her recent recruiting trip to do the same. About 40 percent of Boston’s 56,000 students are English-language learners, the article says. A third of the school system’s students are Latinos. The recruiters believe that the schools could offer a better education to Spanish-speaking students if they had more bilingual teachers.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.

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