GASTONIA, N.C. -- A Gaston County teacher is spearheading an effort to teach his colleagues Spanish in order to better communicate with Spanish-speaking students and their parents.

About 25 percent of Sherwood Elementary School's students are Hispanic and many of their parents are immigrants.

Edgar Coronado is the school's English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher, and he's the school's only teacher who speaks fluent Spanish.

"[Teachers] always call me at the office to translate for them," Coronado said.

Because parent involvement is critical to a child's success, Coronado began teaching his colleagues Spanish so they can better communicate to both parents and their children who may be struggling to learn English.

"It's good for [teachers] to be in the place of a student in how they feel when they are in the classroom," Coronado said.

First-grade teachers Karen Rogers said she's already noticed her relationships improving with her students and their parents.

"When we're both working to learn each other's language, there's just better communication," Rogers said.

Coronado hopes to write a textbook of all his Spanish-language techniques he's teaching to his colleagues.