Teacher of the Week: Dalia Lerma - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Teacher of the Week: Dalia Lerma

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

Fifth graders have a lot to learn, such as math, reading, and gearing up for middle school, but for Spring Creek Elementary's Dalia Lerma's bilingual fifth-grade class, they also have to learn English.

"She's the best teacher over of fifth grade," student Irene Perez proclaimed.

While Perez's first language is Spanish, she used her English to nominate Mrs. Lerma for our Teacher of the Week award.

"She helps me when I have bad feelings and she tells me what's wrong and she helps me," Perez explained.

Mrs. Lerma has been teaching bilingual students for 14 years. Growing up speaking Spanish first, she uses her experience to help her students.

"I try to use different strategies and put some humor into it and share my own stories and my own difficulties as a child, too," Lerma said.

She says learning English comes with its challenges and while some of her students don't receive much support at home, she takes on that role at school, even years down the road.

"They even have come back to my class as seniors and have talked to my fifth graders now and say, 'You know, she was a great teacher and I've been able to continue school, and I'm gonna go to college.' So I've had many students even come back for reference letters, or just come back and talk to my students about what middle school's gonna be like next year, because they're terrified."

Mrs. Lerma hopes to leave an impact on her students for years to come.

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