Mi Héroe

I was reading through some essays today, wherein the students had to write about their heroes.  I discovered some interesting trends/stereotypes that my students portrayed.

Most of the white and black kids chose famous people as their heroes.  Topping the list were Selena Gomez, Beyoncé, Peyton Manning, Kobe Bryant, or often, none.  But there was something refreshingly common among hispanic students, particularly my LEP (Limited English Proficiency) students.

Most of my hispanic students wrote that their heroes were their parents.

They wrote about how their parents loved them, provided for them, took them places.  These parents were not taken for granted.  One student wrote how he was able to tell his mother everything, even his secrets.  Another commented that he wants to be just like his dad, who has worked hard to provide a better life for his family.  One student even wrote that her parents were the best thing in her life.  These kids were so proud of their parents and all that has been done for them.

In all, some 90% of my hispanic students reported that the heroes in their lives were mom and dad.  That is a cultural lesson of which many of us can learn.

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5 thoughts on “Mi Héroe

  1. Oh yes, there is no doubt that this is a generalization/stereotype, and of course, not every hispanic kid fits it. But it is refreshing to see such strong familial ties in hispanic culture. It is an admirable quality that many cultures lack.

  2. By mere luck I got here and had the opportunity to read your post, you see I’m an ESL teacher in Mexico, I teach 7th & 8th graders, and one activity they must do is write in their journals, most of my kids if not every single one of them have dedicated pages to their parents, saying how blessed they are for having them, how they wish -as you commented- to become just like them when they grow up. I think family in most Hispanic environments is the most important part of life, and like you just said it, it is a cultural thing, we -Hispanic- people normally leave our parents’ house when we get married, instead American people normally leave their houses to go to college, those kind of differences -and I’m not saying they are good or bad- are a huge part of why for us family is so important.

  3. Curious if you’re Latino students are 1st generation American? I recently read a research study that found 2nd generation immigrant children were more like to pull away from the family connection versus 1st generation immigrants. Each subsequent generation becomes more acculturized to the dominant culture, hence Beyonce and the others.

    • Intriguing thought. I’ll have to look into that. I know that many of my students are 1st gen., but it would be interesting to know which students are 2nd gen. and what effect it has on their cultural perceptions.

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