TABE Noticias

Spring 2021

El Terrequeteque -McHi Mariachi Oro

From the President's Desk

Adelante Juntos in 2021, by Dr. Olivia Hernández

We are living in a time of great change and great uncertainty. But one thing remains certain: Nuestra lucha for educational equity is more important now than ever for students who have been most marginalized prior to COVID and during COVID. When this pandemic is over, we cannot go back to the old, pre-pandemic “normal” - a normal where linguistically and culturally marginalized students aren’t being served through authentic and effective culturally responsive instructional practices.

Now is the time for a unified effort to make meaningful change, and TABE and its stakeholders will be moving Adelante Juntos to achieve this much needed change.

Adelante Juntos means TABE will be there for school districts and educators as a resource through professional development, coaching or other forms of support to create common spaces to address and resolve the issues hindering bilingual education and dual language implementation.

Adelante Juntos means TABE will be there to ensure that there is guidance and accountability in the implementation of dual language programs.

Adelante Juntos means TABE will continue coming together to effectively influence meaningful legislation and policy for bilingual education.

Adelante Juntos means TABE will prioritize making a human connection. We have been physically distant due to the pandemic, but TABE is embracing new technology that will allow us to communicate like never before so we can advocate from the heart.

Finally, Adelante Juntos means TABE will embrace holding a Hybrid Conference October 2021 where we can continue learning from each other and networking in-person and virtually.

I am both excited and deeply honored to be working together with all TABE members and stakeholders to strengthen the relationship between language, culture and equity in bilingual education as we work hard to create a better, more equitable future for bilingual students in Texas and beyond.

Vamos, ¡Adelante Juntos!

Getting to Know Us: Executive Board Stories

Dr. Olivia Hernández, President

Dr. Hernández is a proud Latina who values her Mexican American roots and celebrates her bilingualism and biculturalism every day. She is grateful for having been brought up in a nurturing home that valued familia, cultura y educación. Her experience living in both México and the United States has helped form her identity and strengthen her advocacy for English learners as a teacher, principal, and administrator. She is the proud mother of two daughters and two sons and has five grandchildren who are the sunshine of her life.

Dr. Hernández brings 37 years of education experience to her role of TABE President. She began her career as an ESL and Elementary teacher in Monterrey, Nuevo León. She then worked as a bilingual teacher, assistant principal, and principal in Hidalgo ISD.
Dr. Hernández left the Rio Grande Valley in 2012 to serve as Director for the Department of English Language Learners in Austin ISD. In 2016, she served as the Assistant Superintendent for Bilingual/ESL & Migrant in San Antonio ISD, where she led the redesign and expansion of dual language programs from two campuses to fifty campuses in four years. Dr. Hernández currently serves as the Assistant Superintendent for Learning, Language & Literacy for San Antonio ISD, where she oversees (bi)literacy and curriculum district-wide to ensure equity and access for all students.

Dr. Hernández is proud to be serving as the 2021 TABE President, helping the organization continue to redefine excellence in bilingual/dual language education for all students.

Hugo Hernández, Vice-President

Hugo Hernández moved to this country at the age of seven. He is the youngest of six and the first one in his family to attend college. He was a migrant worker in Texas, New Mexico and Wisconsin. He attended the University of Texas in San Antonio and earned a BA and MA in Bicultural Bilingual Studies. He participated in language courses at La Complutense de Madrid and at the Sorbonne University in Paris.

He was a student intern for the National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) in Washington, DC. He has served in the TABE Board as a Student Representative, Parliamentarian, Parent Representative, Treasurer and now as Vice President. He currently serves as the President for the San Antonio Area Association for Bilingual Education (SAAABE). He lives in San Antonio and works for Edgewood ISD. He is passionate about bilingual education, teaching and about being a true advocate for the language rights of our students. Dios los bendiga.

Dr. Xóchitl Rocha, Treasurer

Dr. Xóchitl Anabel Rocha is a resilient former English learner and migrant worker. She is the proud daughter of immigrant parents, Romeo Sibaja (+) and San Juanita Sibaja Cavazos. She has been happily married for 30 years with her high school sweetheart and they have 5 beautiful children and 2 granddaughters. Dr. Rocha was a first generation college graduate from The University of Texas Pan American (UTRGV) where she obtained her Bachelor’s and Master's degree in Bilingual/ Bicultural Studies followed by a Doctorate in Bilingual Education from Texas A & M University-Kingsville. She has promoted the importance of bilingual education and social justice as a Dual Language Teacher, Bilingual/ ESL Teacher Coach, Dual Language Coordinator, Dual Language Director at the district level, Bilingual/ ESL Specialist at the Region level, and currently serves as a Dual Language Coordinator at the state level with TEA.

Dr. Rocha has also fostered the importance of high-quality bilingual education practices and programs that promote equitable opportunities for ELs to preservice teachers as an adjunct professor at The University of Texas Pan American (UTRGV) and Texas A & M University- Kingsville. She has served as a Treasure for RGV-TABE and is currently serving as TABE Treasurer. Her passion and advocacy for elevating language, culture, and identity has helped prepare teachers on their path to becoming highly qualified bilingual educators.

Tami Sanchez, Secretary

Tami Sanchez stands behind an educational philosophy centered on social justice education through breaking down barriers and creating access to instruction for all students.

Tami’s eighteen years’ experience in education includes serving in Special Education, Bilingual/ESL, and Special Education for English Learners. Career highlights include leading Dallas ISD’s initiative to improve services for English Learners with disabilities, implementing the inaugural Spanish Spelling Bee in Cedar Hill ISD, and guiding the expansion of dual language in Duncanville ISD.

Tami holds a BA from South Dakota State University in Spanish/Education and a Masters degree from Texas A&M Commerce in Educational Administration.

Los gigantes del bilingüismo: Historical Perspectives of Bilingual Education in Texas

By Rudy Rodríguez, Ph.D.

This is the first installment in the series of short essays of outstanding women and men who through their selflessness, grit and mucho corazón made a lasting impact in elevating the quality of education for English language learners. These are the Texas trailblazers that dared break the mold of a one culture and English-only education sanctioned by a government system controlled by deeply rooted ethnocentric state policies.

This is a tribute to those courageous reformers who dared take a stand against an unjust system of education. We, in TABE, and for the first time, are documenting the stories of these Texas heroes and the transformative impact of each on our state’s education.

May we never forget their examples; and, may their lives inspire us all to the higher calling of why we serve in the grand profession of teaching and learning.

Honoring Our Legacy

Dolores (Alvarado) Earles

October 20, 1923 – July 14, 2015

In 1969, Mrs. Dolores Earles provided many of the new directors of the original 17 ESEA Title VII Texas programs with valuable lessons about what bilingual education meant and how to put the right pieces together for what, at the time, were considered essential for a “balanced program of dual language education”.

Soon after I was hired as one of the state’s new directors of the Ft. Worth ISD Title VII program, I was immediately dispatched to the Texas Education Agency to learn about the state plan for bilingual ed. There were other “newbie” directors who joined with me all anxious to learn. TEA officials tried to guide us and to point us in the right direction, but because they too were freshly appointed state officials, they too were lacking in the tools to help orient the school district leaders to this radically different concept of teaching children. Instead, the same officials directed us to the “mecca” for bilingual education. This center touted by the TEA as the exemplary bilingual ed. model for Texas required us to travel to the Laredo United Consolidated Independent School District (now United ISD). Heading the Laredo program since 1963 was Mrs. Dolores Earles, first grade bilingual teacher at the Nye Elementary School. The lessons we learned as “founding” directors from this master teacher were hugely invaluable to us.

Although the program lacked the science data to validate the quality of the state’s first bilingual program, there was the abundant antidotal evidence to support Mrs. Earles’ and her colleagues’ good work. The streams of senior officials from the TEA, the university community, and school practitioners who joined in these pilgrimages in search of expanded knowledge were consistent in their overwhelming approval of Mrs. Earles’ program. In the November 10, 1971, edition of the Laredo Times, for example: “…thirty South San Antonio teachers” (visiting the Nye program) rated “the Laredo-style education as the answer to many of their elementary school problems.”

Mrs. Earles empowered so many of the newcomers to bilingual education with her depth of knowledge, practical experience and, above all, her fierce advocacy for improved learning opportunities for what the federal government labeled as Limited English - Speaking Ability Children (LESA, now EL or ELL).

Her broad scope of knowledge, her professional grace, and Mrs. Earles’ passion for teaching all served her well when she was invited to testify before Senator Ralph Yarborough’s May 29, 1967, Subcommittee Hearings on Bilingual Education. According to the federal record of the proceedings, Mrs. Earles opened her presentation with a demonstration of her children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in both English and Spanish. The in-person teaching demonstrations and her testimony to the federal committee touting the value of her program were, without a doubt, awe-inspiring and an important forerunner to the eventual passage of the Bilingual Education Act (also, ESEA Title VII) in 1968.

I like to think of Mrs. Earles and her fellow United ISD trailblazers—as well as their forward-thinking visionary Superintendent, Harold C. Brantley—as the metaphorical bridge that first linked the old traditional mono- culture/English-only education to the new and more inclusive system of bilingual/multicultural education. In June 1973, this transition was fully realized when Governor Dolph Briscoe signed S. B. Bill 121 mandating bilingual education in the state. This official act by the Governor effectively brought an end to the punitive provisions of the state’s 1918 English-only law.

Never daunted by the scope and complexity of the challenge, Dolores Earles, as a teacher and leader, worked tirelessly, always with a strong sense of missionary zeal to help build a model of quality education for a growing population of English Learners.

For her exemplary teaching and leadership, TABE, in their 2005 Annual Conference in El Paso honored this amazing master educator with a special meritorious award for her new and revolutionary work as the First Teacher of Bilingual Education.

Mrs. Earles transitioned to her eternal new home on July 14, 2015. Her life was a blessing and her memory a treasure to a grateful profession.

The History of Bilingual Education in Texas

Legislative Corner: Updates of the 87th Texas Legislature

By Dr. Emiliano González, TABE Legislative Chair

For the 87th Texas Legislature, TABE was influential responsible and secured funding from the state budget of over $1 million for Bilingual Teachers Scholarship Program/Funds to award individuals seeking Bilingual certification and another $1 million for Teacher-Aide Exemption STEM Program where teacher aides work towards Bilingual certification in the STEM branch. Due to the pandemic and its effect on revenue, the State of Texas started the 87th Legislative Session with a $1 Billion shortfall. “After budgetary cuts across the board, each program took a 10% cut or was sunset, but we negotiated for the Bilingual budget to remain in place and convinced legislators to only take a 2.5% cut; we were successful,” stated Jesse Romero, TABE’s representative in Austin, Texas. TABE will continue to work with the Hispanic and Mexican-American Caucus to increase the budget for Bilingual programs in the next legislative session. To stay informed of all Texas legislative affairs, go to:

In the Spotlight: Celebrando a nuestros futuros líderes bilingües

Submitted by Martha Garza, Bilingual/ESL/Dual Language Director from Hidalgo ISD

Allegra Rodriguez is a 2017 graduate from Hidalgo Early College High School, located right in the Texas-Mexico border. Allegra was an English Learner who participated in the dual language and English as a Second Language programs in Hidalgo ISD. Allegra is now a successful bilingual professional in the aeronautic industry in San Antonio, TX. Check out Allegra's story on the video below!

We want to know the great things our students are doing in their preparation to becoming future bilingual leaders. All TABE affiliates can fill out this form to submit their celebrations. If your submission is featured in the TABE Newsletter, you will win an Amazon gift card. TABE Newsletters are published quarterly in March, June, September, and December.

GEAR UP Alumni Spotlight: Allegra Rodriguez

Amigos PLC: Sharing BEST Practices for English Learners

Randomizing to Increase Student Participation and Engagement, by Dr. Lileana Ríos-Ledezma, ESC1 Bilingual/ESL Specialist

In face-to-face classrooms, hybrid teaching and learning environments, or in entirely virtual settings, student engagement and participation is crucial! Still, many times educators use phrases such as, “Who knows…”, “Does anyone remember…”, or “Who can tell the class…” These phrases often cause the same “eager beavers” to volunteer or simultaneously increase the affective filter of those who are simply reluctant to participate for fear of saying the wrong answer.

Instead, in order to increase student engagement and participation to 100% while making sure our emergent bilinguals have enough processing time before being called upon, it is recommended educators use ready response signals and randomizing techniques. Seidlitz Education suggests teachers to change their questioning technique from the example above to the following three steps:

1) Pose a question to the entire class.

2) Pause to provide enough wait time and indicate a signal by

which students will let you know they are ready to respond.

3) Use a tool to randomly select who will get called upon to answer

the question.

Teachers can use physical popsicle sticks, apps such as stick pick, or online tools like and to randomize. Whatever the tool educators choose to use, remember, it is important to establish a system for complete student engagement and participation; otherwise, inclusion is just an illusion.

BESO Tips: Sugerencias prácticas para futuros maestros bilingües

By Dr. Gina Garza-Reyna, Associate Professor, Texas A&M University-Kingsville

The end of the Spring semester brings for many BESO members the end of their undergraduate career and the beginning of their teaching career. For those of you graduating, a huge congrats!

Around this time districts announce their job openings for the next school year and many begin to apply. For those of you getting ready to take the leap and begin your first year of teaching, here are 3 tips on landing your first teaching position.

  1. Do the Research. Each district has their own vision and mission. Take the time to research this information. Also take the time to learn about the type of bilingual program the district is currently implementing for the Bilingual Learners being served through their district. Knowing this information can help you tailor your answers during the interview process to show the interview committee how you align with their views and can contribute to the district’s current vision and mission.

  2. Organize an e-portfolio. Take the time to organize an electronic portfolio to showcase who you are and the excellent work you are capable of doing with students. There are plenty of free platforms that will allow you to set up a portfolio. Consider including your resume, teaching philosophy, proof of professional development you may have attended (i.e. conferences, study abroad programs, volunteer work), sample lesson plans with pictures of students engaged in the work or the final product that resulted from the lesson. Also consider including letters of recommendation from people who know your work very well. A professor, mentor teacher, or a field supervisor are all individuals who can speak to your abilities and potential to be a strong bilingual teacher.

  3. Prepare for the Interview. While having a portfolio can help you stand out in the applicant pool, which is sometimes very large, that does not mean you have the job quite yet. Be prepared for the interview. Questions on your teaching philosophy, use of technology in the classroom, “best practices” in the classroom, and approach to team work are all possible topics you may be asked about, among others. Be honest when you answer. It is important that the district know what you truly believe and how you approach work to ensure that the district and you are a “good fit.” This will ensure that your placement is long lasting.

Remember, finding your first teaching job may take some time. Keep at it. Before you know it, you will be in the classroom making a positive impact for the Bilingual Learners in your charge. For those of you still a bit away from graduation, start preparing your portfolio now and add to it at the end of each semester. Before you know it, the day to begin your job search will be here.

Un sendero, dos senderos: Dual Language Highlights

By Dr. Xóchitl Rocha, TABE Treasurer

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is excited to announce the Dual Language Guidance Committee (DLGC) work on the development of a framework has begun! As a result of House Bill 3, this initiative increased funding for dual language immersion (DLI) programs and has presented this exciting opportunity to significantly increase the achievement of English learners (ELs).

Purpose of Dual Language Guidance Committee is to:

  • Develop an instructional management framework to support effective dual language programming

  • Increase effective dual language programming

  • Increase English learner achievement through implementation of dual language instruction

Like always, thank you for the continuous dedication to our EL students and their families. If you have any questions, please email Dr. Julie Lara-Martinez, Director of English Learner Support Division, at or Dr. Xóchitl Anabel Rocha, Dual Language Coordinator, at

Affiliates' Voices: Stories from the Field

Shared by the Bilingual Education Association of the Metroplex (BEAM)

Ms. Sharon Snowton, Cedar-Hill teacher, BEAM and TABE member, was highlighted a few weeks ago in Telemundo Dallas for the dedication and grit she has demonstrated throughout her extensive career as an educator. To learn more about Ms. Snowton's inspirational story, check out her interview! ¡Felicidades, Srita. Snowton! ¡Muy buen merecido reconocimiento!

Shared by the Rio Grande Valley - Texas Association of Bilingual Education (RGV-TABE)

On January 22-23, RGV-TABE celebrated their 26th (and first virtual) conference, with an attendance of almost 400 members! The theme for this year's conference was "BE Extraordinario: Strengthening Connections in a Multilingual Virtual World". Dr. José Medina and Dr. José Luis Zelaya delivered fantastic keynote presentations! Thank you so much to everyone who attended this year's event! We hope to see you next year for our hybrid conference back in beautiful South Padre Island!

Shared by the San Antonio Area Association for Bilingual Education (SAAABE)

SAAABE hosted its 42nd annual conference in San Antonio, TX. The event was held on February 26th and it was 100 % virtual. The conference showcased renowned keynote speakers Dr. Kathy Escamilla and Erika Prosper, First Lady of San Antonio. This year’s theme was: “Rumbo al éxito y la innovación: empowering generations through language, culture, and technology” With 28 live session that were later available for attendees as recorded sessions, the conference was a great success! This conference had an international touch attracting presenters from Spain, Canada and México. Feedback was very positive, and we are truly excited about next year’s conference. ¡Están invitados para el próximo año!

En familia: Recursos e ideas prácticas para criar hijos(as) bilingües

Por Blanca Gálvez Pérez, Representante de Padres de Familia de TABE

Como padres de familia, debemos de estar al tanto del progreso académico de nuestros hijos y qué mejor forma de hacerlo que comunicarnos continuamente con sus maestros y asistir a las conferencias que nos invitan. Pero, muchas veces, no nos sentimos seguros de qué hacer o qué preguntar en esas conferencias. ¡No se preocupe! Nuestros amigos de Colorín Colorado han recopilado una serie de pregunas frecuentes que se hacen los padres de familias en relación a las conferencias de padres y maestros y también nos comparten las respuestas. Les sugerimos que tomen dos minutos de su valioso tiempo para leer el documento adjunto. Recuerden, ¡juntos sí se puede!

On the Bilingual Directors' Radar: Latest Updates from TEA, SBEC, and USDE

By Dr. Pilar Moreno Recio, TABE Bilingual/ESOL Representative

As Bilingual/ESL Directors we always have so many things on our plate: compliance, instruction, professional development, finances, and the list goes on! Our goal is to simplify your busy lives by offering you a concise list of updated resources in this section of TABE Noticias. We hope you find it useful!

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