Ms. Caban Brings a World of Experience to ELD

Ms. Caban Brings a World of Experience to ELD

Joleyshka Wilson, Staff Writer

Ms. Crystal Caban has been one of the English Language Development teachers at Glendale High School since 2015. She is currently teaching 9th and 10th grade, but she has also taught middle school before. She is originally from New York and moved to California five years ago because her husband got a job here. In her free time, she likes to read, travel to places she has never been before, hike, and watch Netflix with her husband and dog.

Ms. Caban decided to teach ELD, because when she lived in Kaniyambadi, India, she taught ELD at a small school called The Garden of Peace. She said, “it was there that I decided to change careers and pursue an MSED [Master’s Degree in Education] in Second Language Education.”

When Ms. Caban moved to California, she needed a job. She says that she applied to teach at GHS “because, at the time, I was looking for a job closer to home, and when the opportunity to become part of the Nitro family came my way, it was everything and more that I could have asked for.”

Since the onset of covid-19, Ms. Caban says that she likes to work from the safety of her home and not be exposed to the deadly coronavirus. Although her ELD students struggle with not having clear directions or even being able to speak to her after school hours when they have any questions, she tries to provide video instruction or exemplars for them. She misses seeing her students and the classroom dialogue she used to have with them, because not “everyone feels comfortable speaking up on camera, so the chatty murmur we normally have during group work is missing.”

Ms. Caban also said that she loves learning about new technology tools and feels challenged every day, because both she and her students always try something new. And she finds this exciting, and that is the reason why she feels motivated to keep working. 

Ms. Caban is sure her students have adapted to this situation and says that her students are “rockstars”  who “never cease to amaze.” She is impressed that they “are resilient, adaptable, patient when things go awry, and kind.” She also said that they do not let this situation hinder their education, and they continue to persevere.

Ms. Caban is also currently serving as one of the Glendale High School WASC Self-Study Leaders, along with her colleague, Mrs. Pugel-Gamez. Not all of us know what WASC is so Ms. Caban explained that it “stands for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges”. She said that it “is an organization that ensures schools have a clear mission, vision, student learner outcomes, and attainable goals that support students’ learning.” The goal of the accreditation is “continued school improvement.” A team of WASC evaluators will be visiting our school next year, and they will hopefully recommend that we will received a multiple-year accreditation.

Ms. Caban said that students should care about this process, because it “is an opportunity to serve as a stakeholder, invested in making sure the school offers quality educational programs.” This process will also give students “a voice in the decision-making process when developing the school-wide action plan.”

Finally, Ms. Caban says that the pandemic has been really challenging for her, but she is “hopeful and confident that it will end soon.”