SPI Book Launch ☆

| June 2, 2010

I have worked this past semester – Spring 2010 – as a site educator in the Student Press Initiative (SPI) at Teacher’s College. I have been so enlightened as both a teacher and student by my students this semester. I worked with young people from Tibet, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Haiti, India, Ecuador and Colombia. The mish-mash of learners at this GED Plus site have proved and time again that education is a relative term.

It is relative because all of them have had some form of education in their home country – most of them speak more than 2 languages and have passed the equivalent and higher of 12th grade back home. Here they are young adults – who are placed in ELL (English Language Learner) classes at the equivalent of a 10th grade level.

Can you imagine the frustrations I have witnessed? Students really bored with what they are being taught? They are educated, these immigrants…but not by American standards…and what does this say about them? Does it mean they are below grade…I doubt it.

But what does it say about their introduction to formal education to the USA system? And how do they grapple with this crossover…is a a question that need addressing.

They are smart, educated and have so much to offer the world they traverse. We should be ready to meet them half-way, as students in their own right – thus making the system of education a two way street. Yet, it is my impression that a few of them are tired and bored…and that we need to scramble not to lose them.

The SPI project realizes their ability and potential and works with them to create and navigate their own worth as students – creating stories and publishing them in book format. Thus these students have a very tangible reminder that they are validated and that they have something very positive to bring to the table.

Book Launch: Thursday 27th 2010. Cowin Center, Teachers College. 10-30 to 12.30.