The following is the first in a series of introductions to new teachers and administrators in the Union Free School District of the Tarrytowns.
SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. Abdiel Ramos grew up in the projects of Peekskill, going to a poverty-stricken school in his neighborhood. He decided to become an educator after watching his own teachers make an impact in his community.
I remember how they taught our population and I saw the impact of that and I was like 'Wow, I really want to be a part of that,' Ramos said. So ever since fifth and sixth grade, I wanted to be an educator and I haven't stopped.
Ramos is at Winfield L. Morse Elementary School this year as part of the dual-language program. Ramos is teaming up with Kim Fonseca. Although Ramos is Puerto Rican and fluent in Spanish, he'll be teaching entirely in English. Fonseca will be teaching in Spanish. The two will switch students back and forth between the languages throughout the day.
Ramos said his role will be teaching the major subject areas and to really create an atmosphere in this room where bilingualism is really appreciated. Half of Ramos's students will be proficient in English. The other half will be proficient in Spanish.
Ramos said his job will be tough, as he'll have to stretch his English-speaking students to their level. He'll also be helping his Spanish-speaking students adjust to a new environment while simultaneously teaching them what they need to know.
So it's a pretty big role, he said.
Ramos currently lives in Putnam Valley. He recently celebrated his five-year anniversary with his wife. His son turned one in July.
Ramos is partial to teaching at the elementary level because he likes to see the changes kids go through. He comes to the Union Free School District of the Tarrytowns from White Plains, where he taught second grade. The diversity of TUFSD is part of what drew him to the school district.
You can make an impact, a really strong impact at that level, especially in an area like Tarrytown, which is so diverse, which is the way I grew up, he said. Being able to be a part of the dual-language program here now is just amazing because I get to be a part of the cultural impact that the kids are going to get to be a part of."
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