Spanish for Educators Boosts Understanding and Connections

The HCPSS Spanish for Educators professional development series represents one way the school system is working to better connect with our growing Spanish-speaking population, with the understanding that engagement leads to greater academic achievement.

The educator participants learn by communicating in Spanish about real-life classroom and school situations in this Maryland State Department of Education-approved course. Participants also gain insights and awareness about themselves, their students and the multi-faceted cultural groups that make up the Hispanic population. In turn, as language barriers break down, Spanish-speaking students and families have more of a “voice” at school.

More than 200 educators have grown professionally and implemented new practices by participating in the course. For example, a media specialist made her media center’s check-out process available in Spanish. Another teacher started a biweekly “lunch bunch” with Hispanic students, during which they teach each other English and Spanish, respectively. Overall, Hispanic parent involvement has increased where relationships have formed with educators.

The class—not found in many school systems—is now in its second year offered countywide through a blended online/in-person format. It has proven so popular that a second section and level were added to meet demand.

Learn more about Spanish for Educators.