My Journey Through Elementary School.

By Veronica Gabriela Pirique Sanchez  |   From : Maryland, USA  |   School : International High School at Largo

When I came to the United States on May 18/2015, my family and I had nothing. My mom tried everything to enroll me to a new school; since we didn’t know how to speak English we had our struggles. We moved  house to house and we didn’t feel comfortable. Until we found a basement in Langley Park, so we moved and had a better life I thought.


 My mom enrolled my brother and I into Langley Park McCormick elementary school. All of a sudden I jumped one grade, so I  started 4th grade. On my first day of school, I didn’t know I was supposed to wear a uniform,  so the front office told my mom, “they cannot enter without their uniform.” That day I was sad . 


The next day… 


It was a Tuesday morning, and I was so excited to get to my class in my sparkly shoes. I was scared since I didn’t know much English. All I knew was the alphabet, some words, overall the basics. 

I got to my first class, this class was like my home country classes. What I mean with this is that one teacher taught all subjects. 


I will always remember this amazing teacher. She was the first teacher I had when I arrived in America, Mrs.Canada. She was Hispanic! I had a teacher in which I’ll be able to communicate. My whole 4th grade she was there for me. But… My elementary school was a bad experience. Just because of another teacher. She made everything worse, everything I do she’ll always judge me. 


This teacher was the assigned “ESOL” teacher. She had a group of 5 students and she  would pull them out of whatever class they had, to teach them english.

Luckily she was my teacher. At first I was like, “Yay, I am going to learn english!” 

But time passed and I realized this excitement  became a nightmare. I worked really hard to achieve my goals, I wrote and spoke as much as I could. Afterwards, I had to do an assignment on how much I have learned english. 


I wasn’t sure if my assignment was right. So I asked my teacher and she came,looked at it, and didn’t even read it. She took it, spit on it and threw it into the trash. I was so shocked by her actions. I thought she is the one to give an example. 

But, no. 


I stood up and asked myself “ I need to get my paper from the trash”. 

So I stood up and went and got it. But no,no,no. Ms.Reinor wasn’t happy. She pulled my arm, told me “sit down, start from zero!”


I was crying so much, I made myself cry quietly. I did not want to get in trouble. I went through a lot with this teacher. Some days were good, some days were bad. But what I noticed was, she had something with me. I don’t know if she hated me, made me think less of me. In my mind this has been a mystery. 


But one day she got out of control. I was in the green up clean up (cleaning the school). 

I was so happy!  The other students and I were going to make ice cream, with ice in a bag with  salt and add every flavor we wanted. But she didn’t  let me get ice cream even though it was hot outside. 


She made me do every hard job there was in the green club . I got tired. My hands were weak . She never stops bothering me, not even an apology  from her. One day at school I was so happy I got my first honor roll. I took a picture and sent it to my mother. 

She was proud of me. I was proud, that day was the best. But it ended really quickly. 

Ms. Reinor came to pick up the ESOL students. 


Estefani, Nayexi, Michelle, Mario and Verónica(me). We stood up and followed her to the classroom. We  got in the classroom and got ready to learn. But as we waited for the class to start she started with our weaknesses, our struggles, our culture, how we look and how we came to ruin America.


We all got sad. Some of us started to cry including me.

This was too much. I couldn’t hold it any more. Everything I went through, every scar she caused. It was breaking me. 



 I spoke up…


I told my mother my mother cried, she said. Porque no me dijiste? (Why didn’t you tell me?) 

¡Porque te quedaste callada! WHY DID YOU STAY QUIET!” 


She took me by my arm and brought me to school. 

She talked to the principal, and she didn’t even care. Until, my mom got fired up. The principal couldn’t stop her. She let my mother talk to Ms.Reinor and luckily my teacher Mrs.Canaca was there to translate. 


Even though I knew some english 

Mrs.Canaca didn’t say everything that my mother said to Ms.Reinor. 

But Ms.Reinor understood she was doing something wrong with her students. 


From that moment everything changed. Nor the way she treated me. 


In the end I graduated 6th grade from that school; this never happened to me again. And I hope that any student that would go to that elementary or any school. No matter the grade they are in; won’t go through what I went through.

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