Matilde Rodrigues has been teaching ESL in Bridgeport for almost 30 years. She was instrumental in developing the English Language at Burroughs 5 years ago and has taught hundreds of adult learners each year since. Prior to this she spent 25 years teaching adult English classes with the Bridgeport Board of Education.
Matilde was born in Costa Rica and later came to the U.S. with her family. She studied at the Universidad de Costa Rica and the University of Bridgeport where she received a degree in ESL and Education, respectively. She knows the importance of becoming fluent in English as a way to reduce barriers to success and understands the challenges faced when individuals do not have the ability to effectively communicate in their adopted country.
Combining her educational experience with her personal background, Matilde is able to quickly understand the needs of her students and develop a plan to help them meet their goals. She says, “I love seeing the confidence students gain as they progress in their English proficiency and the doors of opportunity that are opened as a result. Seeing students meet their goals – new or better jobs, citizenship, communicating with doctors, children’s teachers, neighbors, etc. is a privilege that I am proud to be a part of.”
In her spare time, Matilde loves spending time with her children and granddaughter, gardening, reading, watching movies, and cooking; especially the bread pudding she is well known for!
Theresa Recalde has been in the education field for 40 years. Her background includes teaching youth of all ages as well as adults in a variety of settings including; adult education and college courses, small group and individual tutoring, and elementary school. She currently teaches 1st grade in the Bridgeport Public Schools, where she has been impacting young lives for the last 30 years.
Theresa graduated from Southern Connecticut State University and Sacred Heart University with degrees in Education. She has always had a passion for teaching and finds inspiration from her students. She is excited about teaching English to adult learners right here in the community where she lives. She says, “I love the enthusiasm and eagerness that students bring to class. Their dedication and drive to achieve their goals – whether it is to get a job, obtain their citizenship, or better communicate with the people in the community – is inspiring and motivating.” She feels her students enrich her life as well and she enjoys continuously learning about their native countries, cultures and customs.
When not teaching, Theresa enjoys reading, binge watching tv series, and spending time with her family and friends.