Bilingual teacher pushing students to succeed in English and Spanish

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — Liliana Weissbuch moved to Rockford from Mexico 20 years ago.

She has spent half of that time teaching and most of that decade at Hillman Elementary School.

The fifth grade bilingual teacher comes to class everyday pushing her students to be stronger in both English and Spanish.

“I like to try and teach kids to see their potential and how much they can do in their lives if they believe in themselves,” Weissbuch said.

“It’s a long process for some kids more than others since some of them are more fluent in Spanish than in English but we just tackle their strengths and then move from there.”

Mrs. Weissbuch’s personalized attention has helped her create strong connections with her students.

It’s an important part of Hillman Elementary’s mission and a skill Hillman principal Carolyn Kloss praises Weissbuch for.

“Mrs. Weissbuch is probably one of the most fantastic teachers that the Rockford Public schools is honored to have,” Kloss said.

“It’s about building relationships and Mrs. Weissbuch is second to none in building relationships with her students and with their parents and families of the kids that she serves.”

Kloss has certain expectations for all students and staff, herself included.

Be respectful, be responsible and be safe.

Mrs. Weissbuch provides a fourth component to this list.

Be caring.

“If they learn one thing everyday, even if it’s not academically, and at least they know that I care. That’s good for me,” Weissbuch said.

Though learning two different languages is a challenge, it’s a very useful skill to have.

Most of the fifth graders in Mrs. Weissbuch’s class do well in going back and forth between English and Spanish, but she still pushes them to improve on a talent that can open so many doors for them in the future.

“It’s really a gift to the students to be bilingual. To be able to speak in both languages, to be literate in both languages is a wonderful gift and she is a wonderful teacher and able to support that in all of her students, Kloss said.

“She’s a wonderful, wonderful teacher and human being.”

TOTW-LILIANA-WEISSBUCH
Evan Leake

Evan Leake

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