Mr. Resto has been a bilingual teacher for four years. His goal is to teach his students English. But while the end result is to speak it fluently, he encourages them to stick to their roots as well.
"There's so many more opportunities for people who know two languages rather than just one," says Jose Resto, a bilingual third grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary in Belvidere. "So while my job is to transition them into English, I always give them the message not to forget where they're from, nor the language they first spoke."
To keep his kids motivated and focused on the goal, he has games, and prizes, something his third graders love.
There's a mystery game, where one lucky student earns a prize for good behavior, along with a perfect homework club. Each game has its own perks.
"Yesterday we had ice cream sandwiches for a reward, and we had a ball with that," says Mr. Resto.
But while their rewards are in the classroom, the real pay out is for the community.
"What I try to teach my children is always to pay it forward and to be respectful, and to take a positive message that I delivered to them, to spread it out all over their community," Resto says.
He makes sure to highlight all the good they do, both in and out of school, something that hits home to José as he receives the Teacher of the Week honor.
"It's not just about acknowledging the bad. It's about letting them know when they're doing well, too," he says. "And this award, to me, is telling me I'm doing well, so I guess what goes around comes around."
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