LAUSD/DACE - Venice Community Adult School
My name is Delfino Rodriguez and I am a Mexican immigrant. The Adult School Learning Environment was key for me to achieve many of my goals in life. My first job was in the fields picking up strawberries. Then, I started working in construction, and after 4 days I was fired because I was not skilled in that area. After this, I worked as a dishwasher, as a host, and a waiter for a chain of restaurants. During two years I slept only 4 hours a day, working from 10:00 to 10:00 PM and then from 10:15 to 4:15A of the following day. I also was riding the bus. Still all of this made me want to come back to school even more, because, I could not see myself at the same level of development for all my life. Adult school really helped me to bridge the great divide.
Adult schools, with their dedicated teachers and auspicious environment, which encourages individual development according to the student population needs, was the place that I needed to grow at my own pace. After going through the ESL program, and learning English at a functional level, I was able to take the GED in Spanish and formed part of the graduating class of 1991. This ceremony made me understand that a whole world of possibilities was opening before my eyes. As a result, I got a job as a Teacher's Assistant at Miles Elementary School, and then, I obtained another job at a library organizing books. I tried to make sure that I was surrounded by a learning environment, where everything revolved around education. My following move was college.
During my first semester in college, I got a 1.8 GPA , and I was very discouraged. Then, I transferred to Cerritos College, where I started getting better grades. This period was a period of transition for my family and me. I have been very lucky to have an extremely supportive wife and two children, and with her effort, and my brothers' Josenoe and Francisco's encouragement, I graduated with an AA degree in general studies and a 3.2 GPA. Then University became my next target.
I selected California State University, Los Angeles as the university I would go to. Cal State LA was not far away from my work place (by this time I had been working as a preschool teacher for LAUSD at Dacotah Early Education Center) and my salary allowed me to pay for my studies. Then, in 1999 I graduated with a B.A. in Early Childhood Education, and a 3.7 GPA, and started working on my credentials.
At this point in time, I hold an early childhood education teaching permit, a Site Administrator permit, a Bilingual Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, and I am about to finish with my level two requirements for the Adult School teaching Credential. I decided to teach in adult schools because I wanted to give back to the adult school community, particularly, to the students. I have taught ESL (all levels), GED, and Computer Applications. Right now I am teaching Computer Applications, and the GED in Spanish.
I strongly believe that had it not been for the Adult School Educational System, with its dedicated teachers, administrators, and industrious environment, it would have been very hard for me to achieve the level of success that I have attained so far. My next goal is to obtain a Master's Degree in School Administration. Now I am a lifelong learner, who cares about his students and who feels a tremendous satisfaction when I feel that I have helped students to meet their goals. I was one of them, and I know how hungry they are for learning.