SANDRA OZORNIO: Relating to her students

Ms.O_DONEWhen walking into her class you hear kids speaking both English and Spanish. With a smile on her face, she walks over to the students and interprets the lesson she just taught.

But this isn’t Spanish class — it’s Algebra 1-2. In this period five class, Sandra Ozornio has a majority of students who do not speak English or understand it. Ozornio can relate.

Ozornio was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and traveled to the United States by bus when she was 10. Being the oldest of four kids, she felt the necessity to go far in life and be a good example for her younger siblings. Her family also helped her keep going to school to get a education.

“They pushed me to stride,” Ozornio said. Ozornio is the first generation to learn English in her family and the first to ever go to college on her dad’s side.

Growing up in the U.S. was a big struggle for her. Since she came here in the fifth grade not knowing English it was very hard for her to learn. “At first it I didn’t like it here,” Ozornio said. “I felt like I didn’t belong.” She had a lot of trouble communicating at first.

I don’t want them to fail the class three times when they can move on and do better.

— Sandra Ozornio

She would struggle with things like ordering food or asking people how much things cost and always assumed people were talking about her since she couldn’t understand them.

Since she grew up living through the struggles of an immigrant, Ozornio finds a passion in helping other current students that were just like her. The entire period, students are yelling, “Ms. Ozornio! I need help!” Ozornio is always helping students and she almost never has time to sit and get stuff done.

She knows what it feels like to be in that position and she remembers hating it — therefore, she offers her help to many students. “I try to help them in English and Spanish,” she said.

“I don’t want them to fail the class three times when they can move on and do better.” She says her students are very hard working and determined to pass the class.

“Ms. Ozornio helps us a lot,” said senior Juan Lara, through a translator. “She gives us all the help that usually no other teachers do.” The students say they would not pass the class if it wasn’t for her help.

Senior Edwin Lopez is inspired by the teacher she is — he plans on going to college and becoming a math teacher as well. “Math fascinates me,” he said, through a translator. “I want to be a math teacher just like she is.”

Ozornio says that it can be challenging to teach a class in English and Spanish — she struggles with giving them all equal attention. But according to her students, she balances everything well and teaches everyone equally. “I really don’t mind her helping the students that don’t speak English in Spanish because I know that she’ll help me, too, if I need it,” said sophomore Able Charria.