Meet Oakland Bilingual Second Grade Teacher Alex Mejía - 510 Families

Meet Oakland Bilingual Second Grade Teacher Alex Mejía

Thanks to Escuela Bilingüe Internacional, the only Spanish-English bilingual, International Baccalaureate (IB) school on the West Coast, for sponsoring this post. EBI is located in Oakland (Pre-K to 1st grade) and Emeryville (2nd to 8th grade).

Alex Mejía teaches second grade at Escuela Bilingue Internacional. Originally from El Salvador, Alex joined EBI in 2015 after working in other International Baccalaureate (IB) World Schools in his home country.

EBI teacher Alex Mejia
Beyond his role as a faculty member, Alex Mejia is also a proud father of an EBI alumnae and a current lower school student | Photo courtesy EBI

Alex is known for employing creative techniques to make learning fun and meaningful for his students. He has worked at Escuela Bilingue Internacional for nine years. EBI is excited to have him share more about his experiences within the EBI community.

Tell us about an exercise you use frequently in your classroom.

The ritual I appreciate the most is the daily reflections that we do on our learning, experiences, and challenges. They take place at the end of our lessons, in morning meetings and/or closing circles. Together, we try to identify areas for improvement and strategies to achieve those improvements. At the same time, we acknowledge and celebrate progress and growth. This helps build a positive learning environment for everyone in the classroom.

Circle time at EBI school
Photo courtesy EBI

What aspect of EBI’s school culture are you most proud of?

I love our commitment to fostering inclusivity and diversity. As a school, we prioritize creating an inclusive environment where diversity is celebrated and respected, and this for me reflects a strong and progressive culture. A school that prioritizes inclusivity and diversity creates a positive and nurturing environment that not only benefits the students and staff within its walls but also prepares individuals to be respectful global citizens in a diverse society. Such a culture reflects a commitment to creating a better future through education and understanding.

How do you stay inspired as a teacher?

I am inspired when my students appreciate their own small victories and successes in our classroom. This makes me recognize the impact I am making on my students’ lives, no matter how small it might seem.

EBI classroom activities

How has working in a bilingual school impacted your teaching methods?

I think that teaching in a bilingual environment exposes me to diverse cultures and languages. It encourages cultural sensitivity and helps me adapt teaching methods to accommodate various backgrounds, promoting inclusivity in my classroom. It encourages me to integrate global perspectives into my teaching, making lessons more comprehensive and relevant to diverse audiences.

What impact do you think bilingual education has on your students’ future academic pursuits or interests?

First, bilingual education encourages students to think critically about language structure, meaning, and communication. Second, bilingual education often fosters cultural awareness and appreciation, and It can prepare students to excel in diverse academic and work environments.

One last story you’d like to leave us with? 

I remember the growth of all of my grade 2 students during our unit on immigration. They showed remarkable empathy during a class discussion about the challenges faced by migrants seeking a brighter future. As we shared stories of perseverance, my students reflected on a profound understanding of their struggles. Inspired by the resilient journey of monarch butterflies, the whole class, together with the music teacher, created the most beautiful lyrics of a song where they sent wishes of peace and hope, not only to butterflies but also to those immigrants who pursue a better life for them and their families.

It is so wonderful to be part of this amazing community where we can see how our students develop the attributes of the IB profile. I am very sure they are becoming open-minded and empathetic citizens of the world.

Escuela Bilingüe Internacional is an independent PreK-8 bilingual school offering a multilingual, international education that inspires students to engage with a changing global world. 

 An IB education is highly respected for preparing students for the top colleges and universities in their own countries and abroad. Schedule a visit to learn more here.

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