Bilingual/ESL Education Association of the Metroplex and Their Annual Symposium

“Through my journey of becoming who I am today, I couldn’t have done it without BEAM,” Garza-Garcia said. “I started out in BEAM as a young undergrad. As an undergrad student, I was a BESO member, which is the bilingual education student organization. This organization is built within the universities that have teacher preparation programs.” BESO members enjoy BEAM membership, and this gateway created numerous opportunities for Garza-Garcia for the past eighteen years.

Summary:

Liz Garza-Garcia, BEAM (Bilingual/ESL Education Association of the Metroplex for the North Central Texas Region) President, began her education journey with a simple goal in mind: to become an educator. During her University Studies, a professor changed Garza-Garcia’s direction, instilling in her the idea that if she possessed the ability to speak or learn another language, her goal should be to educate others to do the same. Garza-Garcia spoke with JW Marshall about her road in bi-lingual education and the importance of BEAM’s mission.

“Through my journey of becoming who I am today, I couldn’t have done it without BEAM,” Garza-Garcia said. “I started out in BEAM as a young undergrad. As an undergrad student, I was a BESO member, which is the bilingual education student organization. This organization is built within the universities that have teacher preparation programs.” BESO members enjoy BEAM membership, and this gateway created numerous opportunities for Garza-Garcia for the past eighteen years.

The BEAM community acts as an informational conduit to keep educators up to date on what’s happening in the educational space. “With the challenges we were already facing before COVID, now we’re dealing with everything COVID throws at us and still not being told everything,” Garza-Garcia said. “And so, we try to keep great open lines of communication with our folks, our members, at the higher education sector because they’re the ones who really get into the nitty-gritty of understanding what changes are coming, which ones are going to benefit teachers and which ones can prolong the completion of teacher preparation programs.”

Transcription:

JW Marshall: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome everyone to this episode of Accelerating Texas K12 Education. I’m your host, JW Marshall with Summit K-12 and we could not be more excited for today’s guest. We have with us Dr. Liz Garza Garcia, how are you doing today, Liz? 

Liz Garza-Garcia: I’m doing awesome, how are you doing today? 

JW Marshall: Excellent. And I’m so excited for this conversation. Liz is the president of beam, which is the bilingual ESL educator association of the metroplex here in DFW.

I’m also here in DFW. So this is a local episode, even though we are zooming we are in the same area and I’m just excited for you to bring your knowledge and experience as a president of beam and the bilingual ESL community and your members to our audience from around the state of Texas that are going to be interested in these topics that we’re going to dive into and cover.

So before we dive in, I would love it. If you could give our audience just a little more [00:01:00] background on yourself and on beam. 

Liz Garza-Garcia: Okay like you mentioned, I’m Dr. Liz Garza-Garcia, recently graduated. So that’s amazing. And so I guess I started off in education with the goal of just becoming a high school English teacher and ended up going to Texas Woman’s University and met the wonderful brilliant Dr. Rudy Rogers. Who was also a professor of my mom who was a TWU graduate. And he instilled in us very, at the beginning, Hey, if you are able to speak another language or if you are even able to learn another language, then your mission and your goal should be to educate others who can.

And so from the get-go even though English was my first language I realized I can understand a lot of Spanish. So he strengthened me and my mom that [00:02:00] week. If we could understand it, then we can learn to speak it. So from TWU ended up graduating became a bilingual teacher, went straight to get my masters at Southern Methodist university, where I met the great Dr.

William Pulte, who. Kept telling me Lizzie, you know how your, your name would sound so much better. If it’s a doctor in front of it, I believed them. I was crazy enough to believe it and was able to serve as a bilingual teacher in musky ISD in Dallas ISD. And from there went to be an instructional coach that decided, yeah, I guess it was time to become a doctor and did my doctoral journey at Texas a and M.

Recently graduated this past December and I am proud to be at serving as a data analysis or reporting coordinator for Garland ISD. And I’m really, that’s just, in a nutshell about me through my journey of [00:03:00] becoming who I am today I couldn’t have done it without being I learned about being, how the kids say it nowadays back in the 19 hundreds.

But I started out in beam as a young undergrad, helping as an undergrad student, I was a Bessel member, which is the bilingual education student organization. So these are pre-service undergrad students who know that their path is to become bilingual and ESL educators. And so they so this organization is.

Within the universities that have teacher preparation programs. And I was able to be a part of the vessel. That’s how we say it. And so being a part of vessel means you’re a part of being. And so I was able to help in many of the symposiums. So I got to know what being was about and what it was like. And basically just grew up in being.

From becoming a vessel student [00:04:00] became a professional member. As a teacher started presenting some of the stuff I was doing in the classroom. I think my very first presentation that I did at beam was everything. They don’t teach you the struggles of a first-year teacher. And that was my very first presentation at beam.

And I was blessed to be able to do that. And I think I did that back in 2000 and. And so since then, I’ve always been a part of being, whether it has been in the planning committees or just showing up at the conference and then telling me, Hey, Liz, can you do this too, even attending, and then moving on to becoming part of the executive board.

And now that I’ve moved, I think I’ve had almost every position on the executive board. And now I get to be president. It’s been something that. Dreamed of I, when I was in vessel as a Bessel member, I, I remember seeing the president at the time who was Tony Gessa. She was a president at the [00:05:00] time.

And I was like, Ooh, I want to be just like her when I grow up. And so now to be able to do that to the point where, you know, Tony, if she’s watching, she, I refer to her as my wizard. And it’s a blessing to be able to be in the footsteps of many of these strong. That helps to pave the way so that now I can be here as the president.

JW Marshall: And you are the expert you have experienced at all with beam and as a bilingual educator and now administrator for those listening around the state that are not from BFW, give us just a brief history of beam and beam’s relationship with TAVI, the Texas association of bilingual educators, which I’m more familiar around the state.

Probably talk a little bit about that. 

Liz Garza-Garcia: Okay. Yeah. So if anybody ever wanted to go visit our website, www.beamDFW.org on our homepage, you can scroll and see the versus being it’s our story. As it has been rewritten by [00:06:00] Dr. Rudy road. And the great thing about beam is it started with a group of leaders whether at the universities or the districts, they were both together realizing the inequities that a lot of our students who come from a background, that’s not an English speaking background were facing in the education systems from K to call them.

With them being able to see that they started this push for quality professional development for practicing teachers and quality teacher preparation for future teachers in the early seventies and eighties. So these individuals really started to look at, what’s going to help the DFW area.

Most of those people came from the university Texas women’s university, UNT university of Texas at Arlington and SMU. And so these were, where our founding fathers were coming from. Not to [00:07:00] mention they were also the leaders in the Dallas ISD and what were thought you see? So the two biggest districts there, and what they, what happened was the very first Texas association for bilingual education conference was actually held in the Northern part of Texas at Texas women’s university in Denton, back in 76, 19 70.

And that’s the thought they conference, but when you look at where the region was, that’s, you know how beam began to get their involvement with an organization at the state level. And so that was the very first conference or close the very first conference back in 1976. And then there was just a push for an understanding that there needed to be more.

Accessibility for this type of professional development. Not only for practicing teachers, but also for those who were looking to become teachers. And not only [00:08:00] that, the leaders that lead these teachers there needed to be more accessibility in the north Texas region. And so with that, you’re talking there was another conference held and it was at the TW.

Campus, and this was probably backlog somewhere in the eighties, maybe. And they were able to hold conferences like this, where they brought in representatives from, Fort worth Dallas everywhere, because they just realized the importance that was needed for our students. So really how it really worked was just, they just really got together.

These individuals. Just saw a need. And with that, you’re talking beam started to become more, marinaded to be in creation. And what happened was there were two separate organizations develop one house in Dallas and one in Fort worth. But what was understood was [00:09:00] that, we’re stronger in numbers and if we keep separate, we’re not as strong.

And what happened was the two, basically words, Dallas and Fort worth merge, where we became the metroplex. So around the nineties was when beam actually came to be. And it was, it changed from being just the Dallas association of bilingual education or the Fort worth association to now becoming the bilingual ESL education association of the metroplex.

So we start. The all the DFW area, we have found that because of our strengths and number that spans within regions 10 and 11, that we actually have pockets of people who are part of our membership in regions eight and regions nine. So we’re blessed to be able to have those people as part of this.

JW Marshall: That’s amazing to reach that number of members. And now we’ll transition since you’re clearly a thought leader in this space and you’re working with these [00:10:00] members every week, w what’s fast forward to today in this last 18 to 20 months of the pandemic, what have been the major challenges that your members have faced in their roles?

And where is the train going from where we were maybe last year to where we are this year, moving. 

Liz Garza-Garcia: In the beginning, I think everybody, not only, those of us that were in or that served just one special population all of us face that our students were facing inequity when it came to technology accessibility.

So I know at least with those that are members of our organization, found a way to create videos for parents for students to be able to do small little things like troubleshooting, many people don’t, when a student’s main access to the internet is on there, on their phone, it’s a big difference when it’s on a Chromebook or a desktop, and they have to [00:11:00] troubleshoot clear and cash a browser, most of the time students usually access that stuff at school.

Somebody else took care of that part. So a lot of our students, when they’re at home, they didn’t know how to do that. And we, they would probably get a response from a technology person saying declare and cash, your browser. What is clear and cache your browser actually mean what’s a browser. So little things like that, you I saw a plethora of videos in a language that wasn’t English come out from a lot of our members creating these small little.

Videos so that our parents and our families were able to do the very basics. Not only that the resources that have begun to come out, we’ve always seen an equity in the resources that are provided to our emergent bilingual students in the country, not just in the state of Texas, there’s always a, there’s always a lot more instructional materials in [00:12:00] English than any other language.

And so you’ve seen this ability where these. Some teachers, some administrators, they are meeting the challenge and creating these materials that are needed, that are in a language that’s not English. So it’s amazing to see how a lot of our members, our communities have pulled together to just do great things.

How I say it to do. What’s good. And what’s right. That’s not always the easiest thing to do. When you’re doing what’s good and what’s right. There’s not really much to stop. 

JW Marshall: I love that answer. But now I want to pivot a little bit from the challenge of the students and even the teachers to the challenges and the changes that we’ve all felt through the pandemic and, technology and how we learn, not only students, but as teachers and professional development, that seems like there’s a lot of room for continued improvement and transformation.

What are [00:13:00] you doing to help support that teacher preparation reform that has probably been needed for a while and is now hopefully more of a reality, unfortunately, by necessity of the pandemic and everyone going online. But give us some good news on that front what’s being done right now through your organization for teacher preparation.

Liz Garza-Garcia: That’s a great question. So at least with beam our motto is to educate, collaborate and advocate. And one of those big things that again, those are our three main goals. And so with advocating, we, what we try to do is just really inform our membership of what’s going on. Because we’re, again, the pandemic has thrown.

Those of us in the education field, not only, a left and a right, but an up and a down and an inside out. So now with the challenges we were already facing before, COVID of not being informed of everything that’s [00:14:00] going on with teacher reform and with teacher preparation and testing. Now we’re dealing with everything COVID throws at us and still not being told.

And so we try to keep a great open lines of communication with our folks, our members at the educate at the higher education sector, because they’re the ones who really get into the nitty-gritty of understanding what changes are coming, which changes are good, which ones are going to benefit teachers and which ones are w can hurt or prolong the completion of teacher preparation.

And so we’re just blessed to be able to have members who stay active even after retirement stay active within our organization and inform us and put us in contact with those we need to be informed with. I can’t tell you how many emails I get. Hey. There’s this person who you need to talk to about this.

I CC them on this email. They should be calling you that I [00:15:00] gave him your cell number. And I’m talking to these people and seeing what’s going on, hearing, what, how, what they’re going to present to aspect of the state certification education board and seeing things like that so that we can.

And we can tell our membership, not only that they give us the resources and provide us the resources or even they tell us the idea that we need to think about as far as creating the resources for our memberships, so that if they needs to be an email that needs to be sent to a representative or a phone call that needs to be made to a representative anything to that nature we basically try to provide that resource to our members so that it’s, it’s not so much.

Do you figure it out? How you’re going to help make the change? No, this is what we need to start 

JW Marshall: the change. I love that. And since you’ve brought up, educate, collaborate, and advocate, talk to us a little bit more about the collaboration in. 

Liz Garza-Garcia: Love it. Being is one of the [00:16:00] affiliates of the Texas association of bilingual bilingual education.

So we are one of the largest of all the affiliates for Dobbin. And so as Dhabi has always done a great job at keeping up. Communicated with one another. So those of us who were on the executive boards of all of our affiliates, we get to meet annually. So far it’s usually been virtually of course, with pandemic, but even prior to the pandemic, we’ve been meeting virtually because it’s, it is an easier access to each.

Without having to worry about, traveling or cost to travel, anything like that. So we get to meet annually to discuss what are the things we’re doing in our affiliates. So we have that connection to each other. So whatever might be working great down in region, one might work wonderfully appear in regions, 10.

We wouldn’t know that if we didn’t have those strong lines of communication open. [00:17:00] So it’s a great thing that, to be a part of being, because you’re automatically a member of best of fabric, excuse me. And so it gets you into this huge network that allows you to be more than a. People just say it’s just a great network, but you make friendships.

You make long standing strong relationships with people that if you have a question, you can just send an email, you can send a text, you can make a phone call. And it just has this community strength within the whole network. So it’s a great thing that beam is when you’re a member of being, you become part of that strong network.

JW Marshall: I love it. And finally educate where it’s we’ll talk about the symposium coming up, but before we dive into that and all things symposium, any other ongoing efforts throughout the year, what are all the ways that you educate and let’s end with. 

Liz Garza-Garcia: Awesome. So I guess [00:18:00] we start off we have our membership drive that happens in the fall.

For those that aren’t able to attend symposium we put on a fall membership drive. So this allows people to attend a evening PD. So their their contribution pays for their membership to the organization, not only at the region level, but also to the state level. And then they get to attend a PD.

Three that we’ve done, I guess the last one the speaker was Dr. Edith. Y’all down from the valley and if you guys haven’t seen her, she’s amazing. I love her. She’s one of Michael mothers and I just love her. And so she was able to present to us a PD on social, emotional. Learning from the teacher side and really just helping teachers to cope with what’s going on.

We’re very focused on what we teachers focus only on their students when they’re in the classroom, [00:19:00] that’s all they focus on. It would not surprise me if teachers you’ve seen probably on the news teachers on, in the hospital. I’m still teaching virtually and they’re at the hospital bed. This is just our mentality.

This is how we think and how we work. And to us, this is just the calling. This is what we do, but we don’t focus on ourselves. And so she brought in this wonderful opportunity for us to take that time, to focus on ourselves, because if we aren’t we’re not going to be well to teach us. So it was a wonderful PD that she provided that everyone got to be a part of.

And we were blessed to be able to have her the year before that I believe we had Dr. Holstine Medina. Who’s also amazing. And I was for the life of me, I can’t remember his training but I know what we needed at the time was just a more uplifting to get the teachers ready, because this was going to be the first [00:20:00] school year in effect.

A couple of months after Kobe, it wasn’t even a whole year. So we needed somebody to uplift them, let them know, go in strong and keep doing what you have to do. So he brought that enthusiasm that it, that encouragement that our membership needed to hear it. It wasn’t just. Just our teachers may ask us administrators needed to hear it too, because it’s scary.

So it was just great to be able to have that. And we meet the needs of our audience just by hearing them through meetings, through emails, through the communication we have on social media, with all of our membership, to through our Facebook page and our Twitter page and everything.

We’re able to hear what’s going on and decipher. What do they need next to keep? To keep paving away. So I think that’s a big thing we do in the. And then throughout the year we have general meetings that we [00:21:00] provide also a professional development piece to it. So whether they’re learning about the advocacy piece or whether they’re learning a new classroom strategy they’re able to provide them.

During COVID we’ve had our meetings virtually. We just had our very first face-to-face general meeting. We haven’t had one of those in 18 months, so it was great to be able to have that. And we had professional development with that. It was just amazing to be able to be with one another. That was the biggest thing to be in a room with like-minded people.

We haven’t seen in 18 months, it least it was. Great to have that. Cause you just you needed that region rejuvenation and you get that from one another. When you’re with. So we get to do that throughout the year. And then of course every spring we have our symposium and I say every spring, because since the nineties being has not ever [00:22:00] not had a symposium, so people are going to come at me saying, no, remember we had that one.

It was. It was a summit. It wasn’t a symposium. You know what? It was still in the spring. Okay. We still met, it was still something. Blessed to be able to do that this year we’ll be in Denton. So we’re blessed that our friends at Denton ISD will be our hosts this year. And that will be. The second.

And we already have everything up on our website. I think I’ve already shared that, but it’s www.beingdfw.org. You can click on the symposium tab and you’ll be able to get all the information. And for those of you who are members. Remember, we have all of our competitions that are currently going on.

So we provide a student essay competition. That’s open to students in grades three through 12, and students, the students who win those grade levels get a cash prize that can go toward, fund go [00:23:00] towards school or supplies, whatever that student needs. We also have our scholarships. So those are for high school students, high school graduate seniors for undergraduates and for graduate level students.

So we’re always happy to give back. And not only that every year we identified. Bilingual teacher of the year and the ESL secondary teacher of the year and the winners of those to get to transition, to compete at the state level. So being has been doing that for years. Been just so proud to be able to continue that tradition that was started so long ago and not to mention to con to be able to add more and more scholarships.

You’re talking once upon a time being could only give one scholarship. And now five years ago, we started the senior essay. And now we’re, we give away anywhere between four and five scholarships a year. So [00:24:00] we’re just so happy that we’ve continued the strong tradition and evolved and made it what it is today.

JW Marshall: That’s amazing. And to dive just a little deeper, tell us about the theme of this year’s conference and the speakers coming in, or the topics that are going to be the focus for this 

Liz Garza-Garcia: Great. So our theme this year is who does re-imagining our future. And the board we really looked at this and try to figure out like, what’s going to be the next thing.

This is going to be our very first face-to-face symposium that we’ve had in two years and so we decided, yes, we’re going to keep with the hybrid because we know that number one, there’s a market out there for it. Number two, we have a lot of friends who, it’s better for them to be home and participate in the symposium and they don’t want to miss out.

So we wanted to be able to give them that venue. We will [00:25:00] have the. And we’re excited to bring on our keynote speaker, who is going to be Dr. Jenna Chavarria. So we’re excited to have her and what she’s going to give to our teachers, our audience as in this symposium, we don’t like to do all of our featured stuff just yet.

We like to announce those little by little as little teasers, so I’m gonna keep those under the hush, but we are currently also looking for. Great presenters out there. So we’re calling for proposals right now. The deadline for that would be February the 15th, I believe. And so if anyone has something great to share the wonderful thing to do in the classroom, the wonderful things you’re doing to lead your teachers, your schools, your districts the wonderful things you’re doing to engage parents during this time.

We, we want to hear about it. So please consider submitting a proposal for being this year. We’d love to see. 

JW Marshall: Perfect. And do proposals have to come just from the metroplex [00:26:00] or can they come from anywhere? 

Liz Garza-Garcia: Oh, that’s a great question. So we don’t cap our memberships at just the reach and adjust our regions 10 and 11.

And then the bordering ones. No, when we were if no one knew we were the very first organization to have a online. Symposium that was completely catered to the bilingual ESL educator community. We were the very first ones. So in this home though, state of Texas, nobody can say they did, we did it first.

And it was amazing that because we were the first ones to launch something like that. We got members who weren’t even in the state, we got members in California in in Washington and in several different other states because we were able to just launch something that no one was doing. And with that, yeah, if you have something great that’s happening, where you are, it may not be in [00:27:00] the Dallas Fort worth area.

It could be in another another city in Texas. It could be in another state or even another country. If it’s passes the peer reviewed for the proposals and he gets accepted, we want to know what’s going on. We like to think, our state only knows what they’re doing. And of course we like to think Dallas and Fort worth are the only ones that are great at what they’re doing, but that’s not to say we can’t keep learning.

So yes, definitely. If if you want to propose and you were not in the Dallas Fort worth area, you are not limited to we don’t limit our presentations to just the Dallas Fort worth. 

JW Marshall: And speaking of being an innovator and all that you do you’re also going to be launching a new podcast or a mini podcast series coming up.

And you’ll be serving as the host. Tell us why you’re doing that. And what kind of guests are you going to have on a topic? So you’re going to talk about in your new podcast. 

Liz Garza-Garcia: Awesome. So really [00:28:00] excited to be given the opportunity to do it. Number one. So thank you so much for the platform to be able to do something like this, and really why we’re looking at is just, what are the great things that the members of beam are doing to.

Yeah, for lack of better words, change the world and how being a part of being helps in that in doing so. Not only that we hope that will bring on more people, more interest in the organization. We know that there are tons and tons of schools and districts that serve the bilingual ESL community.

But not everybody knows that we exist and they should have it’s one thing I can speak from my own experience. I was that one bilingual teacher at that one school. And I thought I was an island all by myself for at least three years, my first three years of teaching. And I. If I, if it wasn’t for being, I would not have known what to do.

So I was just glad I could, I [00:29:00] had people to rely on, but I know that there are others who are like me, that don’t know about being. And I don’t want them to, I don’t want any bilingual ESL teacher or any teacher that serves students who come from a. Background, that’s not an English background.

I don’t want any teacher or leader or administrator to not have the resources and networking community that they need to lean on to be able to meet the needs of our emerging bilingual. 

JW Marshall: And we are very excited to help get that off the ground with you because we know that the content you’re going to be talking about in the metroplex is very applicable throughout the state to all of the bilingual ESL teachers and all the administrators that works so hard every day for these MPS.

That they’re going to benefit from that as well. So thank you in advance for putting in the time and the effort to to work on this new podcast [00:30:00] that the metroplex would certainly benefit from and hopefully the rest of the state. A bonus question. Can you tell us a little bit about your.

Liz Garza-Garcia: Oh, yeah. Oh, I’m always happy to talk about that. Okay. So my dissertation title was effective feedback from evaluators, the perceptions from elementary bilingual teachers, and really what I wanted to focus on was just the perceptions that bilingual teacher. May have that concerned or surrounded feedback.

When it came to specifically looking at Spanish instruction and the findings from my dissertation showed that many of our beliefs, let me rephrase that. The participants who participated in. The study. They really felt that they don’t get the same amount of observation time in Spanish instruction as [00:31:00] they do when they’re teaching English instruction.

And so that was always something as a bilingual, as a practicing bilingual teacher, I noticed a lot when I was in the classroom. And I always, with Spanish being my second language, I always wanted that extra. Tell me how I am in Spanish, because I want to be 110% in Spanish. It’s like I am in English.

But when you had, when I had an administrator that didn’t speak Spanish, I noticed it too, which is what peaked my interest about it. And so it was great to be able to do something I was passionate about and to have that, the other thing that was really interesting to me, Was that just the teachers that participated in my study, it was amazing how a lot of them really focused on feedback being effective.

If their administrators. Knew anything [00:32:00] about second language acquisition. And so it was just like, wow, they know it’s a bilingual classroom. They know the focus is second language acquisition and they know this teacher probably knows everything they possibly can. And in second language acquisition theory but they’re coming in and offering a specific.

Classroom instruction advice that’s that specifically only looks at behavior or classroom management or looks at just the materials being used, but never focused on any strategies or or specificity on the language. That was being used in the classroom. So what academic language was being used, what level of words were being used when asking students questions.

So a lot of the teachers really kept reiterating that part, that they don’t know what I’m saying. They don’t. When they, they, I met their administrators. Wow. That’s, I’ve been [00:33:00] out of the classroom at least nine years. And it’s amazing that’s how, exactly how I felt when I was in the classroom.

That’s exactly how I felt and to know it’s it was still happening. I was like, wow. That was mine. It took me a while. But, and I will tell you the great thing about me finishing and from start to finish in the beginning. When I proposed one of my committee chairs told me why is this a big deal?

I don’t, you did a good proposal. We’ll let you go through with it. It’s still just doesn’t seem like it has that, that that meet. And I was like, I’ll show you. And so when I came back with my findings, that very same committee member said, wow, Liz, this is going to be a movement.

This is crazy. And I was like, so yeah, but thank you for asking. That’s my favorite things. 

JW Marshall: And you talked about the world [00:34:00] changing impact that your members have. I think it’s certainly worth noting that’s world changing impact as well. And hopefully just the beginning of this movement. And it sounds like something maybe for a full podcast episode in the future that we’ll keep spreading the word throughout Texas and.

I think it would be amazing. We’re down to our last question. We always like to end the show with a half glass full story. Whether that’s your members or your organization as a whole moving, from the pandemic to hopefully towards a post pandemic and a brighter future. Give us your best story of hope as we wrap up our time today.

Liz Garza-Garcia: And that’s definitely going to be around. The resiliency, I think everyone’s resiliency was tested and has been tested throughout this whole situation with COVID. But being back in 2020 was supposed to have their face-to-face conference. The [00:35:00] first week of April, that’s just traditionally what we do first week of April.

Everything’s shut down spring break, which was March, which was, mid March. You’re talking. That left us 11 days to change the face-to-face 100, 100% face-to-face conference to a 100% online. And the organization, we did it in 11 days. The president at the time was Tammy Sanchez, who’s at grand Prairie ISD.

She was like everybody’s shutting down. We that’s no is not an answer where you’re moving forward. And so we completely transitioned everything and to do it in, in, in 11 days was crazy to be able to have something like that. And we were able to do where it just showed, when COVID is going to throw challenges at us.

And [00:36:00] the worst thing we can do as an organization as advocates is to just let it and to stay silent and to just let it take us down. We need to be strong. We need to be resilient and we need to show our strength through it. So that’s every being the president of beam, always remembering that those 11 days.

Yeah, it was stressful. I don’t think we slept those 11 days. Maybe an hour before we had to be online so that our eyes wouldn’t have the bags underneath it so bad. But we came together and we did what we had to do to host the very first online or conference that complaint was completely geared toward the bilingual ESL community in the north Texas area to not only that to.

The state association hosts and they’re online. [00:37:00] There are 100% online conference, which was also amazing and I was blessed to be able to be a co-chair for that. So that was just amazing to be able to be the pioneer, to be a part of the team that was the pioneer. For that, it just keeps showing that, being started out as just a couple of people having coffee, talking about, what can we do to change the inequity.

To what it is now being the pioneers of hosting an online conference to also being the first ones to do a hybrid conference back in 2021. And then now, we’re bringing back a regular face-to-face. Along with a hybrid option. So it’s just really, I’m proud to be a part of this organization.

I’m I think pride is just an understatement about it. So my, I think of hope is join us. You won’t need hope. You’ve [00:38:00] got it. 

JW Marshall: And that’s an amazing reflection of your organization and top a, and all the affiliates and all the bilingual and ESL teachers that they are so resilient, they don’t give up because they, their students need them.

And during the pandemic more than ever. And so thank you for your work and for all of the educators that work with the EBS. They couldn’t have seen the the minimize minimization of learning loss or in a lot of cases, even gains during the pandemic, without the hard work, the relationship building the container.

PD and all the pivoting that we had to do. So keep up the great work. Thank you so much for joining this episode. I learned a lot. Hopefully our audience learned a lot as well, and we’ll look forward to future episodes with your show coming up in the coming weeks and months. So again, Dr. Liz Garcia, president of beam.

Thank you for joining. And to our [00:39:00] audience. Thank you again for joining the accelerating Texas K-12 education podcast. Be sure to check out our podcast page on our website, as well as listen, anywhere you listen to podcasts, apple, Spotify, Google and all the places where you find your audio podcast.

Join us again next week for another episode, and always keep learning.



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