Alicia S Trevino Oral History, 2021/11/30


Title (Dublin Core)

Alicia S Trevino Oral History, 2021/11/30

Description (Dublin Core)

The sometimes overlooked part of this pandemic has been the experience of the educators and their side of the story. Here I sat with my mom to gather her experience and thoughts on what's been a rough year. We talked about the changes she witnessed and how it affected not just the kids but herself and the teachers around her as well.

Recording Date (Dublin Core)

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Contributor (Dublin Core)

Event Identifier (Dublin Core)

Partner (Dublin Core)

Type (Dublin Core)

oral interview

Controlled Vocabulary (Dublin Core)


Curator's Tags (Omeka Classic)

Contributor's Tags (a true folksonomy) (Friend of a Friend)

Collection (Dublin Core)

Curatorial Notes (Dublin Core)

Date Submitted (Dublin Core)


Date Modified (Dublin Core)


Interviewer (Bibliographic Ontology)

Mario S Trevino

Interviewee (Bibliographic Ontology)

Alicia S Trevino

Location (Omeka Classic)

San Antonio
United States of America

Language (Dublin Core)


Duration (Omeka Classic)


Transcription (Omeka Classic)

Mario S Trevino 00:01
So for this interview I have here with me, my mom, and I'll be talking
to her about the educational journey and how she felt the pandemic
affected that whole process.
Alicia S Trevino 00:13
So my name is Alicia Silvino Trevino, I have been a bilingual educator
for 27 years. I am now a dyslexia therapist, a reading specialist. I
coordinate our RTI, which is our response to intervention. I also
provide teachers with activities to address students needs. And I
support my administration by processing paperwork such as our dyslexia
paperwork, and speech referrals, as well as special ed referrals.
Mario S Trevino 00:44
I've seen how that's a very packed schedule, I would imagine that you
have a lot of experience, like you said, in this business and
institution. And the main thing I want to get at is how you felt this
pandemic affected that process. So starting off, back when we first
learned that our schools would be closing down, and we would be out of
school, have the teachers take that news?
Alicia S Trevino 01:12
I think back in spring break, that's when actually happened two years
ago. And it was a Monday, we were going to be ready to go back to
school. And unfortunately, the news started to advise us that schools
were going to be closed. And in the beginning, it seemed to be okay,
because we thought we had an extra week of spring break. But in the
long run, we realized that it was actually a pandemic, that was
causing so many, so many deaths and so much destruction in the world.
So it took us by surprise.
Mario S Trevino 01:45
Would you say that, after learning the true size of the situation,
that there was a time period in which education became kind of a
second concern in most people's mind.
Alicia S Trevino 02:00
I think, for parents, even as a teacher and a parent myself, education
was the last thing on my mind. But we knew we had to keep on going as
teachers and we still had to provide services for our students,
especially my school, my school is a title one school. So we have a
lot of children who are economically disadvantaged, which means that
we're their source of breakfast or source of lunch, and snacks. So not
only that were their source of knowledge, because a lot of the parents
work or many parents don't speak the language, they cant support their
children. So it really affected our students.
Mario S Trevino 02:41
So seen as how you were like you said, a title one school because of
that language barrier and financial barrier, do you think your kids
were impacted in a greater sense, then perhaps, better off schools,
like on the north side of San Antonio?
Alicia S Trevino 02:59
Yes, our kids were at a major disadvantage. If I would compare my
students in South San Antonio ISD at Benavidez. To let's say, Tejeda
middle school or Bulverde Creek. Those students alone have the
internet or the capacity for their computers to run programs and apps
or their parents have the background knowledge to support your kids at
home. While my students don't have but maybe one computer or no
computers at home, they probably only had their cell phones, a lot of
parents said that they only had a cell phone with the Internet. And
most students actually had to go to hotspots and pick up Chromebooks
from our campuses. So they didn't even possess they didn't have in
their homes, any type of technology that would help them support them
through this critical time.
Mario S Trevino 03:51
Speaking of being online and an online presence, how would you say
teachers felt about this sudden switch from in person to a completely
virtual classroom?
Alicia S Trevino 04:04
Well, personally, it was a very difficult change, because just the
simple lack of that interaction with our students, you know, we
couldn't, I wasn't there to speak to them face to face, you know, the
proximity where we find each other, or we have a confidence in each
other and build a relationship so that teaching can become enjoyable.
That distance that the internet provided us wasn't helpful at all. And
the fact that there were so many glitches, you know, it made teaching
very. Non personal, because teaching has to have a I have to have a
build a relationship with my students so that teaching could happen.
And through online or through the internet. It wasn't happening.
Mario S Trevino 04:54
I knows that you work with kids ranging from kindergarten to fifth. So
Would you say that kids who had previously been in school before the
pandemic performed better than those who started school during this
Alicia S Trevino 05:13
I don't think they performed better, I just think they knew more about
what is expected from them at school, while the pre K, kinder, and
first, they weren't really sure what was going on, because they lack
experience in school. Our pre K students really come in not knowing
how to sit social skills, they don't know how to hold a pencil, our
kindergarten students now have become like pre K students who came
into school without knowing how to hold a pencil or write their name.
So it really affected our lower grades or our little ones, because
they need more supports, you know, in different ways in basic skills,

like holding a pencil writing their names, social skills, you know,
sitting down attention span, so it's affected the lower grades in a
different manner.
Mario S Trevino 06:02
The social skills that these kids have lacked, would you say that now
they are starting to learn them as we adjust to a in person setting.
Alicia S Trevino 06:12
I think right now towards December, the kids are learning what they
were supposed to learn in August. As if we talk about social skills.
So they're already lagging socially. And even the upper grades, I
could see that the older students are very immature. And they just
don't have that stamina that they need like to read a story to answer
questions. They lack a lot of background information.
Mario S Trevino 06:43
Other than these hopeful benefits, that we see that we hope kids will
achieve their social skills, are you happy that we're moving back
towards an in person class? Or would you rather stay virtually online
for the time being?
Alicia S Trevino 06:59
We've been back on campus since last year, we started at 10%, then we
increase gradually to 20 and 30. And this year, we started at 100%.
And personally, I prefer to be at campus with my students face to
face. Because it's I know they're going to be there my classroom, I
can use manipulatives, that proximity that we need, you know, I could
read the child's face and expressions or needs better than using
technology. The other thing is that now the child goes to school all
day. And when we were virtual, they had a log in maybe for 5 10
minutes, and then we're calling the present, which really affected
their learning skills, because they have a lot of academic gaps now.
So yes, I would prefer them to be face to face if they're safe,
because now they're talking about a second strand. And if this strand
is as bad as the first one, again, education takes a second place in
life. I'd rather have students safe all students safe all my kids safe
than anything else.
Mario S Trevino 08:15
So talking about them being safe, would you say that you still have in
place certain rules, like in schools that are doing their job in
keeping students safe sanitized?
Alicia S Trevino 08:27
Yes, we are. Because in the morning, I do, for example, duty at seven
o'clock in the morning, and I make sure that the students enter our
building with masks, if they don't have masks, we provide masks, we do
temperature checks, we do basically what we can with what we have. So
we keep the six the students six inches apart, we try to divide use

dividers on the desks, we try our best again with what we have.
Mario S Trevino 09:00
So I guess to end off this interview, I just wanted to get your
personal opinion on which do you prefer the virtual setting? Or the in
person setting? And are there any benefits to either or that you would
Alicia S Trevino 09:15
I think you could we could learn something from the virtual learning a
lot of the applications and the programs that are created, like Google
Classroom seesaw, and others that we use can be now implemented in
class with the students face to face. They can now use their something
that we didn't do before they could use their Chromebook in the
classroom while we also present online. And at the same time, we can
walk around and see our children keep that distance. Make sure we have
a connection with our students so that learning can take place. So
there was some benefits, about the applications and Google Classroom
and technology that we used during the pandemic now in the real
Mario S Trevino 10:08
Okay, I think then the most important thing we could hope for is that
students slowly adjust back and we have a hope that we'll catch back
up to where we were and create a new normal that we are all
comfortable with during these times.
Alicia S Trevino 10:27
Yeah, I think that people need to be patient. Because it's going to
take us a while so that students can catch up on their academics. Our
children are probably two years behind, which means it would take us
about another two to three years to catch them up. So as teachers we
try our best with what we have. And with parents support, we hopefully
can reach a middle ground.
Mario S Trevino 10:54
Well, thank you for talking with me, and let's just hope for the best
for education.
Alicia S Trevino 10:59
Yes, we will
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This item was submitted on December 1, 2021 by mario trevino using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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