A Heart for Making Dreams Reality

By Miriam E. Pagador

If you step into my shoes as an ELL teacher for a day what will you see?

A class of students from different countries, levels of educational background and English proficiency

Your class becomes a safe haven and you their security blanket for a period of time

Days, weeks or months go by but eventually they’ll adjust, break away and make that climb


Make learning fun, use a lot of realia and have them share their culture with pride

Be sensitive to their unique qualities and definitely get their parents on your side

Celebrate when you have students who are motivated to learn…but also be aware

For your blood pressure to rise with the few who are always absent, insubordinate, or unprepared


Every year K-12 teachers open their classroom doors to new students which they briefly get to know

However, as an ELL teacher…you will bond with your kids for a year or more and watch them grow


Being an educator for over 30 years I’m often asked, “Retiring?” I’ll smile and say, “Maybe” but then I’ll stay

So I can encourage these special students to DREAM BIG and KEEP BELIEVING they’ll reach their goals one day

Mrs. Miriam “Mimi” Ellen Pagador was born and raised on Kauai where she attended Koloa Elementary School and Kauai High School. She received an AA in Liberal Arts from Kauai Community College and earned her B.Ed and Professional Diploma in English as a Second Language from U.H. Manoa. She has 31 years of teaching experience and has loved them all, her years and her students. Mimi has dedicated her career to the island of Kauai and to the too often ignored ELL students and their families.