Pictured left to right: April Vargas, Vincent Delgado, Aidelyn Ramos, Jiovany Stephenson, and German Rios | Photo courtesy SEISD

San Eli ISD’s Alarcon Elementary students share their Pandemic stories

When the State of Texas decided students would not be returning after Spring Break last school year, San Elizario ISD (SEISD) officials knew that their students would be experiencing and growing in so many different ways.

To that end, teachers at Alarcon Elementary wanted to focus on their students and the ‘quarantine season’ that brought an array of skills, emotions, and moments that would have probably never happened.

Staff took the time to ask their Alarcon students two questions.  The first question was, “What positive thing have you learned about yourself during this Pandemic?”  Following are some of their responses:

Kailaa Munoz, a 6th-grade student, stated, “I have learned to let my mind become creative!”  She adds, “I have learned a lot of positive things about myself.  I have learned that when time passes slowly, I can use my creativity to work.”

April Vargas, a 6th-grade student, shared the following statements, “I have learned that I can achieve anything I want as long as I put my mind into it.  I also learned how we look on the outside does not matter; it’s what is inside that matters.  I learned to love my family even more than I already do!”

Aidelyn Ramos shared, “I became more positive than before because I used to be negative towards myself and others.  I am a lot more positive now!”

Justin Ortiz wrote, “I learned that I am passionate about lifting weights and eating healthy.  I also learned that I relax when I pick up rocks since I live near the canal.  One other positive thing I learned was that I am very good at cleaning.  I helped my mom clean since she is pregnant, and I am very proud of myself for helping her.”

Vincent Delgado shared, “Something I’ve learned about myself is my capability to adapt to change quickly.  In the beginning, working at home was hard. You had to change your mentality.  You had to become determined to pass to the next grade.”

Evelyn Rubio stated, “I’ve learned that my family will always be there for me.  I’ve had problems, and I get anxious and stressed, but my family helps me.  I’ve learned to appreciate my family during this pandemic”.

The second question asked of Alarcon students was, “What did you miss most about physically coming to school?”

Most students stated they missed socializing with their friends, teachers, and other staff members.  Playing with friends and enjoying all the fun activities at school was a common sentiment among most of our Alarcon students.

German Rios shared, “Not being at school made me miss my teacher because she can teach me better. When I can go back to school, I will do all my work and do my best to be a great student.”

“Not being at school made me miss my class because my teacher and all my friends enjoyed reading books together, working together, and laughing together. I also found out that I miss my teacher in person, her name is Ms. Carrillo, she made me happy, and she helped me think about a lot of stuff like more math, reading, writing, science, and social studies.  I have missed all these things about school, but I know that when I can go back to school, I will be happy forever!” wrote Jordan Gutierrez, a 4th-grade student.

Bilingual Student Eduardo Bailon reflected, “El no poder venir a la escuela me hiso darme cuenta que extraño mi lugar de trabajo por que me sentia agusto.” (‘Not being able to come to school made me realize that I miss my workspace, because I felt comfortable.’)

Jiovanny Stephenson summed it up beautifully, “I have missed so many things from not being physically at school.  When this pandemic is over, we can do all of these things again and improve on the ones that we know will make us better students.”

Alarcon staff and educators realized tha, while it was a difficult year, their students still showed the determination and strength to get through.

“Yes, this pandemic has had its hard times.  However, during the storm, the Eagle rises above it and soars to new heights.  Resilience, grit, integrity, and compassion are the essential life lessons that our eagles have learned, but it doesn’t stop there since they have improved academically as well,” staff shared. “Our Alarcon students have accomplished a lot, they are amazing, and we are so very proud of them.”