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Making an impact

Daughter of migrant farm worker becomes an ESOL teacher

By Karla Rockhold and Dan Miles | Oregon State University

Noelia Flux | OSU K-12 Education Program

Oregon State Ed.M. graduate, Noelia Flux teaches reading to English Language Learner (ELL) students (Photo by Drew Olson | OSU Ecampus)

Noelia Flux dreamed she would one day become a teacher. But she didn’t believe it could ever happen.

In her early childhood, teachers told her that, as the daughter of a migrant farm worker, she would probably not amount to anything. Against those odds, Noelia became the first in her family of 15 children to graduate from college.

As a working mother with two boys, she began her career in education as a bilingual teacher’s aide. The Salem-Keizer school district in Oregon offered her the opportunity to become a teacher.

“I was a bit apprehensive because I truly loved working as an instructional assistant,” Noelia said. “Then I thought about the impact I could make as a classroom teacher and I decided to take the plunge.”

With the support of her husband, family and friends, Noelia attended Oregon State University’s College of Education, earned her bachelor’s degree and achieved her dream of becoming an elementary school teacher. In December 2013, she earned a master’s degree in K-12 education offered online through OSU Ecampus – a national leader in online education. Her OSU instructors affirmed her ability to be successful in the program.

“They were always there for me and were extremely patient,” Noelia said.

In addition, Noelia completed her bilingual/ESOL endorsement online through OSU. She knows that her studies at Oregon State have prepared her to analyze the impact and effectiveness of Spanish literacy support among English language learner (ELL) students. As a graduate of the master’s program in K-12 education, she feels even better prepared to serve the diverse population in her classroom.

“Having my bilingual/ESOL endorsement is a vital part of teaching because all students, not just English language learners, benefit from the strategies and skills which are used in the classroom,” Noelia said.

Her early childhood experience with education inspired her to create a welcoming classroom environment, one that embraces diversity and instills a sense of community among her students and their families.

“I motivate my students and instill in them a sense that they can do anything they set their minds to, anything,” she said.

An inspiration to her family members and community, Noelia has shown that through perseverance, conviction and courage one can achieve their dreams despite all obstacles. Because others believed in her, Noelia has the opportunity to help elementary children from all walks of life believe in themselves.

[Source: Ecampus education: College of Education]