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Latino teachers are eager to serve as role models and cultural stewards, but they feel their extra work as interpreters for Spanish-speaking families is undervalued, according to a new report from the Education Trust. Many see the additional responsibilities of community outreach as a second job they are expected to perform.
The report comprises responses from 90 Latino teachers in five states (New Jersey, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, and California) about the complexities of teaching Latino students, as well as their relationships with white colleagues and administrators, and their hopes for professional advancement.
Two themes emerged: the importance of Latino instructors in classrooms where large numbers of students are Latino themselves, and the expectation — often voiced by supervisors — that they act as Spanish-language resources for schools and families.
Many hope to provide an example for students of a first- or second-generation American who has attained advanced degrees and professional success.
Beyond their instructional duties, the teachers stressed their role as “cultural guardians,” introducing their students to Latino history through culturally relevant texts and the selective use of Spanish in class. This is especially tricky, they added, given the requirements of academic standards like the Common Core.
But the added work of acting as a bridge to Latino parents, many of whom struggle to access educational services for their kids without an advocate, can be overwhelming, they said.
Read the full article on Latino teachers by Kevin Mahnken at The 74