They had come so far together, almost 3,000 miles across three countries and three borders: a mother with three children, fleeing a gang in El Salvador that had tried to kill her teenage son. But now, in a frigid Border Patrol facility in Arizona where they were seeking asylum, Silvana Bermudez was told she had to say goodbye. Her kids were being taken from her.
On Mondays during the school year, we post a photograph that appeared elsewhere in The New York Times, remove its caption and ask students “What’s Going On in This Picture?” Teachers across grade levels and subjects have told us again and again how powerful of a learning tool such a simple activity can be. In this post Claudia Leon and Margaret Montemagno, two English as a New Language (E.N.L.) teachers explain how they use the feature to help students improve their writing.
Gregg Behr is a co-chair of the Remake Learning Network and the executive director of The Grable Foundation, a Pittsburgh-based philanthropic organization, which funds a number of programs that support public education. In this commentary, he writes, "The census keeps kids housed, fed, rested, and safe. In order for students to come to school ready to learn in 2020 and the decade beyond, an accurate count is crucial. It won't, however, be easy."
When Astou asked her seventh grade students to write personal essays, she modeled the assignment with a personal story of her own. Astou came to the U.S. from Senegal when she was seven and grew up 10 blocks away from where she teaches. Now, the 25-year-old is one of nearly 9,000 teachers with DACA across the country — without the program, many of them would be barred from professional work.
It was not a conventional job interview. At one of his first meetings with Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, to discuss the job of New York City schools chancellor, Richard A. Carranza serenaded them with a mariachi song: 'Maria Elena.' "That's what mariachi music does — it keeps our kids connected to who they are," he said in 2016, when he was inducted into the Mariachi Hall of Fame. At the same ceremony, Mr. Carranza described himself as "really a mariachi masquerading as a superintendent."
Hurricane Maria has taken people away from Yzmar Roman. The 16-year-old Puerto Rican high school student's two best friends moved to the U.S. mainland in the wake of last September's devastating storm, one to Florida and the other to Tennessee. Her father, a policeman, has been working long hours since Hurricane Maria and doesn't have much time to learn about her day when he's home. And her mother's job as a bank teller also means she's busy. Yzmar tries to lean on the friends she has, but she hears about their daily struggles since the storm and knows they have their own burdens. So when a teacher at Dr. Maria Cadilla High School in Arecibo, about an hour west of San Juan, noticed a change in Yzmar and sent her to a social worker, Yzmar was grateful.
The following is a list of recommended resources, including articles, videos, and other content, used in our various in-person and virtual training sessions and workshops on diversity and cultural literacy for librarians. This list is by no means comprehensive; it represents a starting place for further exploration, reflection, and discussion.
Alison Ambroso is with the Southern Arizona Association for the Visually Impaired. She developed an English as a second language curriculum for immigrants who are blind or visually impaired.
Young Julian lives with his abuela and is obsessed with mermaids. He imagines taking off his clothes, growing a tail, and swimming freely through the blue-tinted water with swirls of fish and stingrays. After spying some women on a train dressed as mermaids, Julian later tells his abuela, "I am also a mermaid," then proceeds to wrap a curtain around his waist as a "tail." Ferns in his hair complete the fantastical look, and when his grandmother catches him — is he in trouble? Not at all! In fact, she takes Julian to a festival where people are dressed as fantastically as Julian.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has chosen Houston Superintendent Richard Carranza as his new schools chancellor, less than a week after the city's top choice publicly backed out of the job. De Blasio touted Carranza's work in San Francisco — improved graduation rates, higher test scores, narrowing of the achievement gap for Latino and low-income students — as the record of someone who can achieve results while focusing on equity. He introduced Carranza, the grandson of Mexican immigrants, as a person whose story embodies the American dream, and he called Carranza an "educators' educator."