Oral Histories

Celebrating The Refugees Already In Our Classrooms: Memories And Advice From A Student

Today we are delighted to showcase a post from award-winning middle school teacher, blogger,  and author  Heather Wolpert-Gawron. With her permission, we are linking to her December blog post Celebrating The Refugees Already In Our Classrooms: Memories And Advice From A Student, a beautiful piece for promoting cultural competence.

Through Heather’s interview with Paul, a refugee from Nepal, who entered her 5th grade class in 2001, we have a window into the challenges faced by so many of our newcomer students – and the difference a caring teacher can make. In five short clips, we can follow Paul’s school experiences in a post 9/11 climate. Clip 1 (below), for instance, is a powerful example of what defines a “refugee.”

Thank you again to Heather Wolpert-Gawron for a very insightful post, which we will also be adding to the Time of Remembrance Student Gallery and linking to in our On Coming to America lesson. We hope Heather’s teacher/student interview model will inspire other teachers to reconnect with former students and to reflect on and document their refugee/immigrant stories.

Note: Heather’s interview with her student Paul was recorded using Call Recorder on Skype.

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