My name is Erika Barrett. I studied at BYU between 2007- 2014 (yikes)- I studied Elementary Education with minors in DLI and TELL. I am currently teaching at Cedar Valley Elementary School (a rural school in alpine school district)I am teaching third grade. My teaching experience has been very unique. There are only 7 teachers in the school so there is a lot of whole school collaboration, however, since I am THE third grade teacher, it was difficult as a first year teacher to know what to expect, the developmental levels of my students, common misconceptions, etc. In addition, there is a bit of a cultural difference in a rural school. The majority of my students were below grade level and initially, student motivation was low. Many people in the school (including parents) are very complacent. They do not see the importance of school, or continuing onto higher education. To be honest, I have to say that the most valuable lessons I took away from my education at BYU were from the DLI program with Dr. Rosborough. He is amazing. I tried to contextualize the content I had to teach. I used techniques that I learned in his class with my students (even though I am not in a DLI setting). These theories (teaching, language skills, comprehension, assessments, and contextualization) are also helpful to lower performing students. I am not a perfect teacher, however, through what I learned in Dr. Rosborough's class, my students have become more accountable, more independent, and so much more motivated. Very few of my students miss school anymore (only if they are very sick). They have learned so much, and not just what the core dictates, but on a deeper and more meaningful level. I have been humbled by my teaching experience as well as inspired to be my best self to help the kids I teach as much as possible. I am not in a DLI program, but I am the only Spanish speaker in my school, so I also act as the school translator for all of the spanish speaking parents.