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Elysha Dicks: ESOL teacher

Please allow me to sing the praises of my wife, Elysha Dicks, who completed a year-long journey yesterday by passing her state certification test with flying colors and becoming officially certified to teach English speakers of other languages.

She scored 191 out of a possible 200 points, for a 96%.

Despite her outstanding score, she claimed that the test was exceptionally difficult. Maybe so, but when you get almost every answer correct, you probably shouldn’t lament the test’s challenging nature.

She crushed it.

Elysha began the certification process last September, and for the entire school year – more than ten months in total – she spent some of her Saturdays, most of her Sundays, and every Monday evening learning, reading, studying, writing, and collaborating. She wrote research papers, completed projects, filled in endless learning logs, taught model lessons, and more.

She sat at the dining room table and wrote. She stretched out on the couch and worked. She brought books to baseball games and anyplace else where a little bit of studying could be done. She met with classmates virtually and in real life to complete assignments. And for the last two weeks, ever since the school year ended, she has studied relentlessly for the test.

I’m thrilled that she can now pursue a dream that she’s had for a while. Ever since working with a student from Isreal many years ago, Elysha has loved working with the students and the families of students for whom English is a new language. This past school year, two-thirds of her kindergarten class comprised students for whom English was a brand new language or their second language. Though it sounds like an impossible and ridiculous situation to me, she adores that work.

She chased her dream. Worked like hell to make it happen. Made enormous sacrifices in terms of time and energy to get herself over the finish line.

Best of all, she was an incredible role model for our children throughout the entire process. Clara and Charlie had the opportunity to watch their mother spend a year as a student, working hard, trying her best, and giving up enormous amounts of leisure time to pursue a goal. While someone like me might’ve tried to do as little as possible to pass the course, Elysha sought excellence at every turn, and the kids could watch that process play out firsthand.

I’m sure it left an indelible mark and will hopefully inspire them to do the same.

Never one to rest on her laurels or remain stagnant in any way, Elysha has already begun the next step in her educational journey:

She’s already scheduled her first Spanish lesson.

Now that they can teach students for whom English is a second language, she wants to learn her own second language.

It’s all so damn impressive.

Congratulations, honey, on a job well done. I couldn’t be prouder of you.