The greatest resource that exists within our District 9 community is our diversity. Miami-Dade is a pathway to the international community, and is home to a multitude of different cultures, religions, languages, and life experiences. As a school system, it is our responsibility to capitalize on that resource and use it to provide an advantage to our students, providing them with the tools they need to succeed in a more globalized world.
As such, our teaching must be culturally responsive and directly applicable to the lives of our students. When curriculum is taught in the context of our diversity of experience and culture, it becomes more powerful, empowering our students to see how what is gained in the classroom translates into their lives. Furthermore, bilingual education represents one of the most important skills that students can learn and gain throughout their educational journeys. The ability to speak a second language allows our students to be able to interact with different people and cultures, especially Spanish and Miami’s valued Latinx community. The resources and classes necessary to learn a second language should not be narrowed down only to specific international magnet programs; rather, they should be available to every student at every school. By providing equal access to bilingual education, students countywide will have the opportunity to gain a key asset for the workplace and their daily lives. In addition, our county should provide students who speak Spanish or another language at home the resources necessary to expand on that skill. Learning English as a second language through an ESL program should be viewed as an asset in our district, and we will empower every student, regardless of the language they speak at home, with the academic support they need to expand upon their skills.