For teachers of immigrant and refugee students living in the United States, the Trump era has changed the landscape of their work, positioning them as front-line supporters to this understandably concerned population.
In this article for the Washington Post, Valerie Strauss explores the early days of the Trump era and how ESL teacher/blogger Larry Ferlazzo decided that “leading with [his] ears” was the best approach to supporting the apprehensive students in his high-school ESL classes.
Ferlazzo had his students write letters that he sent — sans names — to President-Elect Donald Trump. Here’s a poignant example:
“I am a high school student. I am originally from Mexico. My family came here because we need to work to have place to live and food to eat. We are grateful to this country because it is our home, we came here with nothing and work and get everything. We want to give back to this country by working and giving the best for others. During the election, some of the things you said made us feel sad because you offend us without knowing us. My family and I hope you will let us stay here, because here is everything.”
See the full article for many more such letters. Kudos to Ferlazzo and the thousands of TESOLers worldwide who are highlighting the real people affected by Trump’s proposed policy changes.