Teaching Stories

My Third Graders Love Reading "Wilfredo"

After reading Wilfredo, I observed increased discourse and engagement from a wider range of students. Students whose families have immigrated from Central America were eager to make connections, share their higher order thinking skills, and be the experts in the classroom. Our discussion about Wilfredo allowed space for students to share about the pain of leaving loved ones behind.

Community Walks: Teachers Learn from Guatemalan Families

Teachers at Oakland International High School (OIHS) engage in community walks to learn about the lives of their students and families. This article from Teaching Tolerance describes a walk in the immigrant Guatemalan community. To prepare, teachers read an excerpt from Rigoberta Menchú’s book and hear from students about the different regions of Guatemala.  On their walk they visit a Mam-language church, talk with day laborers about their work, and eat at a local restaurant. This professional development field trip approach could be used in schools across the country to learn about neighborhood history, culture, and activism.

D.C. Teachers Explore Students’ Central American Culture and History

In July of 2013, Claire Sontag and Fabiana Duarte, two Washington, D.C. based dual-language teachers, traveled through Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala to learn about the history and culture of their students and their families. During their time in each country, they met with local officials, visited public schools, and explored the cultural diversity of each country through museums, religious ceremonies, and by spending time with community members.