Getting to Know Lourdes Ceide, the ESOL Student Counselor

by Safiya Khalid

Ms. Lourdes Ceide is the ESOL student counselor in Montgomery Blair High School. She has been a counselor at Blair for 25 years.

Ms. Ceide was a high school teacher for 4 years before she became a counselor. "I enjoy high school," Ms. Ceide said. "I like working with people and listening to their problems," she added.

Ms. Ceide was a normal student in high school. She went to Notre Dame Academy in Washington, D.C. "My favorite subject in school was language. I studied French and music," she said.

Ms. Ceide said that when she was in high school she didn't seem to like history. But her opinion changed. "Now it's my favorite thing," she said. In fact she even used to be a history teacher.

When Ms. Ceide was teaching she started to take courses to be a counselor. "I was young enough and had energy to teach and go to school," Ms. Ceide said.

Ms. Ceide became a counselor for only ESOL students when the number of ESOL students started to grow. Because her family is from Puerto Rico, she could speak Spanish and she could be a special help to Spanish-speaking students.

Ms. Ceide tries to help students with their problems in school. One problem that ESOL students complain about is that their classes are too easy. "Unfortunately because of language, students are sometimes placed in lower classes," Ms. Ceide said. "I know how they feel." But she added that classes can be too difficult, too. When a class is too difficult, they will be frustrated. "That doesn't mean they are not smart, definitely not," she said. "Until they are secure with language, they have to push themselves to learn English."

Ms. Ceide has some advice for ESOL students. "High school is a short time. It's preparation for college and work. Students should take advantage of all the opportunities that are here."

Copyright Silver International Newspaper 2000 (This page was created by Aissata Soumah and Narema Alli)