{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "The latest “Look the other way” news cycle distraction going into the weekend (it’s always going into a weekend) was the immigration disaster in Texas involving people under a bridge.\n\nTo be education based and let us learn something in context: how has immigration (legal or illegal) affected your current school during your lifetime?", "post_id": "61463f2643d02500224eba0d", "reply_count": 46, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "5c751b9f2f6b98001bc666f8", "bowl_name": "Teachers" }

The latest “Look the other way” news cycle distraction going into the weekend (it’s always going into a weekend) was the immigration disaster in Texas involving people under a bridge. To be education based and let us learn something in context: how has immigration (legal or illegal) affected your current school during your lifetime?

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-influx of ELL’s, supports can vary depending on schools student count has gone up. -adjustment in evaluating scoring. Not all tests are converted to other languages. So the scores aren’t accurate, student disconnected to words cannot show skills. -involvements of ELL parents-unless adequately staffed with translators or bilingual staff, communication may not reach as intended. -WIDA is a commonly used assessment for measuring fluency, but can stagnate if reading/writing/speaking is not actively practiced by ELL students in the classroom. -culture norms- adjustments made, but can show some behavior problems, in the classrooms (avoidance behaviors usually) -related services- testing must be done in native language, this can take time depending on staffing (psychologists caseloads have skyrocketed) usually distinguishing if low scores are from learning disabilities or just language barrier, from teachers who have flagged students to be tested based on data. -some students there are big gaps (3-6yrs) in school time at home country after inquiry of educational background. Or no schooling at all for some. I.e. Place a 13 year old in 7th grade, that gap simply won’t get met by required standards for that year in core curriculums. (Behavior problems will correlate) Nevada is transient city, but we are getting more and more ELL flagged students. COVID caused a heavy drop out rate or return to home country during online. Starting to pickup as long as schools stay in person.

smart

Here are some things that I have seen in practice that support building a strong educational community that thrives off of immigrant-identity. 1. District level A) LMS systems that communicate in home languages for all students. We use synergy. B) funding for interpreters, standard practice of having all documents and announcements reproduced in a variety of languages. C) hire teachers, principals, paras, etc. from immigrant communities. Enable pathways for non-certificated staff from immigrant communities to access teacher ed programs. D) crease dual-language programs in some K-12 sites. E) implement language proficiency testing in MS/HS courses where students who are multilingual can demonstrate their skills and receive up to 4 years of foreign language credit. F) make sure stakeholders from immigrant communities are involved in decision making for the district. G) Mandate cultural competency training as part of PD. 2. Building Level A) create multicultural or heritage nights that focus on sharing cultural experiences, food, music, etc. with others. B) network with families and colleagues to identify those with connections to the communities, who can help to build bridges for the entire school. C) make sure you are not engaging in offensive building-wide practices. For example, some communities do not celebrate Halloween, Christmas, etc. and making displays or themes using these holidays is alienating, making “English only” rules is also harmful. 3. Classroom/Self Level A) learn how to pronounce your students and their family member’s names. B) incentivize students to continue learning their home languages by offering extra credit for work they do in two languages i.e. researching in Spanish and then translating said research into English, or analyzing a poem for figurative language in Punjabi as well as English. C) a math teacher at my school has all students write their heritage language numbers 1-10 and then present it to the class on the first day of school as an ice breaker. D) get in touch with your own immigrant past and find value in the sacrifices your ancestors made to put you in the position you are in today. Honor your students and families as if they were your own ancestors carving out a new life as strangers in a strange land. E) educate yourself about the underlying causes of migration/immigration in our contemporary context. Including the US’s role in neo-imperialism, and historical colonialism. Understand that our country has profited off of pillaging other nations, making ourselves more stable but other regions in a constant state of flux. F) make sure you’re including immigrant experiences in your curriculum, especially from the countries represented by your immigrant community. As well as learning that relates to their home countries. G) seek to identify shared values and life experiences. If a student’s parents work in a factory and so did your grandfather, that is a common thread you both share. If you were a first generation college grad and they will be too, you have a potential to be a mentor through that process. If your family was hard on you about grades, relate to students about that struggle of unrealistically high expectations. H) if all else fails, put yourself in their shoes and think about how you would want to be treated/taught if you were in their situation.

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The presence of immigrants in my school has had a profound effect. Our classrooms have become places where everyone learns from one another. Students have been exposed to new cultures and traditions. They’ve learned empathy. They’ve learned that they aren’t the only people in the world that matter.

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I’m grateful to have so many students who are immigrants. They bring a lot to the school community and positively contribute to the classroom as helpful, respectful and hard working. I find that immigrant families value education more so than native-born families and so it is easy to partner with them in terms of student goals. I can’t imagine teaching at a school where a majority of my students weren’t first or second generation immigrants! And yes, I think my test scores are going to kill it again because students from immigrant families work hard and expect excellence from themselves as they hope to provide a pathway for their whole family to gain a better life.

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That is the opposite of my experience here. Glad it’s going well for you.

Immigration has had almost zero effect on my school district over the last two decades. I honestly can't remember a single issue related to or caused by immigration, either legal or illegal.

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That’s interesting. Immigration is the single biggest factor affecting our school locally for the last two decades until the last few years when funding dried up.

Not sure it really has. The only students I can recall who I knew to be undocumented were really good students, so I suppose I could say it was a net benefit, but really, we teach who shows up. Doesn't really affect us any if they're in the country legally or not.

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No CES2. I know my area very well. You have no idea.

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I have been teaching since the 90’s. The first time I had an EL student in my classroom, no one told me. I did my first day spiel, and she came up and said, “No habla ingles.” There was nothing in place to help her. The Spanish teacher and I alternating spending our planning period all year tutoring her in English. We were all blessed that she could actually read and write Spanish, so by the end of the year she was reading classroom texts and beginning to write. Today our district has a dedicated person for each building to work with these students. We also get their Access test results and a list of strategies to help them. Add to that resources like Google Translate, and I feel like we have come a long way in helping our kids become contributing members of our society.

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These are mostly Haitians who were displaced by three hurricanes and a couple of earthquakes. Guess if you give money and rebuild poor countries, the refugees do not wind up under a bridge on your border.

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Is that your your answer to my redirected education question?

How has immigration impacted education? All of the US students have been immigrants and/or are the children of immigrants and have benefitted from education. The indigenous people were “re-educated”. So, the immigration thing didn’t go so well for them - they were pushed aside to put it mildly.

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Since I’m in southern California, our school is very diverse because of our proximity to the border. We have immigrant families from/with ties to Vietnam, the Pacific Islands, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, you name it. We are 4% white, if that’s what you’re asking. It’s a great school. Most of our teachers are white and miraculously, most of the students in our AP classes are white. Some will take that as confirmation of stereotypes. Some will take that as confirmation of bias. I take it as confirmation of an equity issue that needs to be fixed. We communicate in multiple languages for everything. Our district has a Translation department that supports teachers and parents. To move up, you really need to be bilingual. I’m not so that sucks but I could always learn the basics of a language if I really wanted to.

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The district I teach in has been very impacted by immigration. I teach in the elementary school that has all of our students who are English Language Learners. At last count, we had 23 different languages spoken. I don't know for sure, but I believe that the majority of our families are here legally. Other than many ELL’s we are also impacted because many of these families go back to their home country for extended vacations during the school year.

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I’m confused by your rhetoric… Are you saying that when thousands of humans from ANY country are living under one bridge, houseless, living in squalor, and fleeing after being affected by a horrific natural disaster is not newsworthy and is only a media ploy to distract from something else?🤔

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Thank you CA for your thoughts. I think you are way overthinking it, but teachers do that. No matter what your personal perspective, it is possible to answer the question without all that. But all of us tend to look through our particular pov lense. The media and politicians tend to only put out these stories if it helps an agenda. Like not allowing any pictures or filming at the border when that is an area of concern to any humanitarian. It's not that this story should not have been covered but that they chose this one and left out humanitarian issues right here. Just like the extreme humanitarian issues in Afghanistan right now, especially for women. But then maybe if we saw how bad it is everywhere all at once, we couldn't handle it. Or they think we couldn't. IDK.

You asked for context. I added it. I also try to teach that sometimes the best course of action for a country is to help others where they are. Giving food supplies, vaccinating a population that is not in your country, sharing technical expertise, etc. These are setting the example and modelling empathy, which is so important to a child's future and to a society's.

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What about how your school has been affected? Not just what you are teaching.

And Biden has banned news drones… (Critical thinking education based question) Why? To reduce coverage, perhaps? Why would the powers-that-be want to limit coverage?

smart

Unmanned drones were interfering with law enforcement and were a safety problem so they were temporarily banned. The news organizations were free to apply for flight approval after the temporary ban. Manned flights in the same air space were not banned.

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