Tracy Huesca‘s QSLA Story
Lynwood Unified School District,
a QSLA participating provider
Tracy Huesca wanted to make a difference in the world, so she went to school for a bachelor’s degree in social work while working as a bilingual assistant in a preschool classroom. She completed her degree, but decided to stay in the early learning field. Her true passion was helping children grow and giving them a safe place to be themselves–she realized she was already making this impact as a preschool teacher.
In the first few years of life, a child’s brain is developing more rapidly than any other time. That’s why it is crucial to provide supportive and positive experiences in the earliest years, which lay the foundation for future learning and success. Attending a quality early learning program, with teachers like Tracy-who are committed to giving children the best start- is essential for preparing our children for the future they deserve.
As a participant in Quality Start LA, Tracy receives one-on-one coaching from a QSLA Program Coach, Angie. Tracy learns tips and strategies from Angie that help her create classroom spaces that are developmentally appropriate, and encourage kids to learn and explore.
In addition to facilitating a quality environment, Angie helps Tracy better support her students’ language development. Through this coaching, Tracy has mastered how to ask open-ended questions that spark curiosity in her children, and how to structure her lessons so that they capture her children’s’ attention and lead to their engagement.
The results are inspiring. Tracy tells the story of Marcelo,* who was behind his peers in speech when he came to her classroom. By gently engaging him in conversation and patiently listening and trying to understand him, Tracy and her co-teachers improved his language skills—and his confidence. He started participating, even raising his hand during circle time to ask questions. It took time, but, she says,“We saw how much he grew. He would just come in with a big smile.”
“Our kids’ households are not always safe places, but here I can give them that comfort zone, a place that’s okay to be,” she says. “We’re going to try to understand you…we are here to give you help, to say ‘good morning, how are you,’ to make sure we are listening to you…to be present.”
Tracy’s promise to her students is that she will be a caring and supportive adult each and every day. In fulfilling that promise—and preparing her students for lifelong success—Tracy is making a difference.
*Name has been changed.