This post is near and dear to my heart. As a daughter of an immigrant. I can’t ignore this “hot topic” being the times we live in and the controversy surrounding immigration. How does this affect our children emotionally and educationally? How can these children focus on education when they are torn away from their parents or sent to Mexico with their parents. They are sent to a place where they don’t know the language a lot of the times and the educational system is very different. I always hear people say children are resilient, they will be fine, but we have to remember that they are humans too. They have feelings and traumatic experiences impact their lives in different ways. I can tell you as a teacher, you can’t focus on the academics until the emotional behavior is addressed.
I recently read an article on NPR that talks about an elementary school in Tijuana, Mexico. At 20 De Noviembre School, teachers use a 50/50 second language immersion model. English speaking students are paired with Spanish speaking students. They learn social and academic language through discussions. English speaking students are not singled out because they do not speak the native language like it happens in U.S. schools. In addition to peer support, English speaking students meet with tutors and counselors once a week for further emotional and academic support. The article touches on the trauma these children are feeling when first arriving to Mexico. They express feelings of sadness and confusion. Again, we must think about how these children are being affected.
20 de Noviembre is a model for providing resources to U.S. students and helping them acclimate to their new school environment. I can not imagine what these poor kids and their families must be going through as they are torn from their friends and their community back home.
If you’d like to read this article, the link is below.