Alumnus Marcelino Saucedo Reflects on Bilingual/Bicultural Education Experience
Nicholas Butler I September 28, 2022
In August 2022, Marcelino Saucedo graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Master of Arts in Bilingual-Bicultural Elementary Education. His thesis, entitled "Spanish Home Language Uses as Factors in Bilingual Children’s Language Preferences." explored the impact of parents’ attitudes toward Spanish on the bilingualism of first graders in Niederwald, Texas. At Texas State, he served as President of B.E.S.O. (Bilingual Education Student Organization) and was recognized as a member of Kappa Delta Pi (International Honor Society in Education), Phi Sigma Pi, Sigma Alpha Lambda, Phi Mu Alpha, and the Golden Key Honor Society. Marcelino is currently a bilingual kindergarten teacher in Manor ISD. He plans to continue his research by pursuing a doctoral degree in Bilingual Education.
Marcelino discovered his passion for teaching during his early childhood education. He states, “I was inspired by my kindergarten teacher. I remember she was always calm and seemed to have these somewhat magical powers. She was so flawless and caring to all the students. I was floored with how well she instructed me.” Marcelino also had a strong creative interest in music and performance as a member of the choir. He decided to work a fulltime job upon graduating from high school but was encouraged to pursue a college degree by his vocal teacher. Marcelino began his undergraduate degree as a music major and rediscovered his love for teaching while taking education courses. Marcelino states, “At first, I questioned whether I was in the right place. Overtime, I worked with students and learned a lot about myself as an educator. I experienced a renewed inspiration for teaching.” Marcelino pursued a master’s degree in Bilingual-Bicultural Elementary Education to personalize his journey towards a career in education.
As a graduate student, Marcelino further recognized the importance of bilingual/biliteracy education. Marcelino says, “Taking graduate courses at Texas State made me look at education more critically. It helped me to teach bilingual students with urgency.” Marcelino taught in Hays County as a first-grade bilingual teacher. He was overwhelmed by the initial experience but was able to grow as an instructor while receiving support from other teachers. Marcelino states, “I wasn’t sure what questions to ask as a new teacher. Overtime, I was able to learn from other educators who shared their immense knowledge and wanted to assist me so I could succeed. I really had to learn to trust others and understand they had my best interest at heart.” As a kindergarten teacher in Manor ISD, Marcelino believes it is important for education to provide students with cultural and linguistic representation. Marcelino states, “Bilingual students are taking in so much information and they need to see their cultures being acknowledge and celebrated. It is important for the children a sense of pride from the representation they receive throughout the school year.”
As an educator, Marcelino believes it is important to reflect on his instructional qualities to better his teaching abilities. He improves his skills by focusing on the variety of role teachers have as professionals. Marcelino states, “I try to improve my approach to teaching by reflecting on the areas where I can improve. I already know what I’m good at so I have to consider what I can do better every day.” Marcelino believes bilingual education extends beyond instructional practices within the classroom. He correlates the profession of teaching to customer service due to the variety of duties educators are required to manage. Marcelino says, “I am a teacher, but I am also responsible for communicating with parents, organizing the lesson plans, and making sure information is accessible. Teachers have many responsibilities that require them to be flexible and willing to adapt.”
Marcelino encourages individuals who would like to become educators to get first-hand experience from professionals. Marcelino states, “I would encourage people who are interested pursuing a career in education to spend a couple of weeks job shadowing a teacher. It’s good to learn from a teacher who can show you the ropes in a classroom setting.” Furthermore, Marcelino looks forward to extending his research to improve his role as an instructor and to provide more resources for bilingual students to enhance their educational opportunities. Marcelino states, “I am interested in pursuing other avenues of research to learn how to support bilingual students as well as their families. I am excited to continue growing and adapting to the changes throughout this journey.”