Thursday, June 22, 2017

Aurora Cedillo, a retired elementary school teacher from Salem, tells us how it is on the front lines of education

Aurora Cedillo absolutely nails it when she speaks from her perspective as a retired Salem educator. Read the entire article here. Too few people in Salem are prepared to acknowledge the truth of Ms. Cedillo's words, or perhaps it's just easier to turn away or, more troubling, to make the issues she raises abstract so that her points get lost. Our youth are suffering just at those points where race, class, gender and inequality intersect. Those conditions can be changed through organizing collective political action. It really is that simple. Those are our points, not Ms. Cedillo's, but she says:  

It is not uncommon for my students to come from homes where their parents were working two or three jobs to make an honest living. Older siblings might be their caretakers because their parents are often getting home very late at night — unintentionally compounding the stress on their young, bilingual children. The kids might come to school hungry and often without enough sleep. Sadly, my students might be the ones answering the phone when I called their home to check in. Teachers are already strained as it is, and there is no time built into their schedules for getting to know their students’ families. Understanding of their home life leads to a much better understanding of the child. We need to humanize our students and public education. They are not just a number and a name on a list. They are human beings.

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