I am honored to begin my ninth year as head of the school and founder of Austin Eco Bilingual School. This is a remarkable place for learning. AEBS has embraced the concepts of global responsibility and social inclusiveness, with an emphasis on languages such as Spanish, English, Mandarin and French as an essential tool for cross-cultural understanding. While it is based on the Spanish framework, our curriculum is carefully designed to build on each language’s strengths and cultures. Our work has been recognized by the Mexican Ministry of Education and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
When I began Austin Eco Bilingual School in September of 2007 I started with only 12 students. I am so thrilled to share with you that we now have 220 families currently enrolled at the two locations!! It is through your support that Austin Eco Bilingual School continues to grow!
When you first come to AEBS you will notice that the excitement is palpable! You can feel the energy in the corridors, sense the vibrancy of adventure in the halls, and grasp the wonder of discovery in the classrooms as students and faculty engage in authentic critical thinking. Our task at AEBS School is to “ignite the unique spark of genius” within each student. Our teachers can change how a student thinks about himself or herself and more importantly, how, as an individual, he or she relates to the world. Our goal is to build leaders who have the courage to take intellectual risks and the skills to communicate and work effectively with others.
Imagine a world full of peace because our students are equipped to solve conflict. Imagine eliminating hunger because our students have been immersed in compassion. Imagine entering a society expunged of corruption because our students understand that when dealing with others, they must do it with integrity. Imagine our AEBS students creating the world we have always dreamt of, the world we have always hoped for…
Perhaps this distinctiveness is best represented by our human capital and our character. Our multinational families and staff aspire to create a microcosm of the world we want our children to inherit. Our community, both at school and at home, shapes our students’ dispositions. AEBS is consciously and explicitly global in its reach, multilingual and multicultural in both belief and practice, and a place where students, families, faculty and staff share their diverse experiences.
We offer a world-class education grounded in creative and critical thinking, and relevant to modern day global challenges. Our curriculum culminates with the highly challenging International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP).
Maintaining our position of leadership requires that AEBS continues to improve. Our teachers find professional guidance through many sources, in particular the International Baccalaureate (IB) as AEBS official candidates, National Associate for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Harvard University’s Project Zero, and Texas International Baccalaureate Schools (TIBS). We recognize that teaching and learning is a rapid evolution and must take into account new technologies and the need for continuous adaptation.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all the parents for their continuous support. It is the parents that really make the difference! I strongly believe that parents are the most important people in a child’s life. Their love, affection, support and approval are fundamental needs of all children.
I would like to share some of my philosophy. I am a lifelong learner myself. I believe that the most important thing we can do as educators is to focus on student results. How well do they perform in “real life” settings like speeches, role plays, and presentations? How well do they meet our standards and benchmarks? How well do they perform on standardized tests? Those are academic results.
In addition I strongly believe in student results that reflect the whole individual. How well do they interact with their peers? How is their emotional well-being? What is their passion? When we answer these questions with positive responses, then we know we are doing our job at AEBS. I also believe that in order for us to educate the child as a whole, we must get the families involved. What are the values of the families with which we work? How can we involve families in positive ways? Knowing the community is a requisite.
None of what I just mentioned is possible without two very important things: excellent teachers AND a spirit of collaboration. Hiring excellent teachers is the most important factor in guaranteeing positive student results. We can have all the “bells and whistles” but without talented, dedicated teachers and a spirit of collaboration we would never be able to reach our goals. Diversity is strength and the more diverse backgrounds the teachers have- the better!
I strongly believe that in order to provide the best education possible a “balanced” approach is best. The balance between whole language and basic skills instruction, balance between student centered and teacher guided lessons, and finally balance between performance based assessments and test evaluations. Because many students tend to be visual and/or hands-on learners, it is my belief that most teaching should incorporate this style of instruction. Children are explorers and must have ownership of what they are studying. This is the joy of teaching and learning!
I appreciate your dedication in supporting Spanish Immersion in Austin, TX. Your children will have a great advantage over monolingual speakers as they grow into a progressively more global economy that will demand conceptually and intercultural minded individuals who are able to make significant and positive changes in the world. Austin Eco Bilingual School is proud to be a part of making that happen in the lives of young children.
It is an honor to be Austin Eco Bilingual Head of school and lead a successful school. For me personally, there has never been a more exciting time to work in the field of education. My passion for educating future global leaders is at the center of our mission. We welcome you to spend some time with us so that you yourself can experience the energy and vibrancy of it all!
Adriana Rodriguez / Founder-Head of school