Here! book cover

Here! Immigrant and Refugee Youth Through the Eyes of Their Middle School Teacher is a soulful but candid collection of stories based on educator Ann C. Smith’s experiences during her twenty-four-year career in Title 1 secondary schools in Texas. The currently hot topics of education and immigration are at the forefront of the narratives. . . .

  • A gifted, older student from Mexico forces Smith to confront the limitations of a teacher’s help.
  • A student from Cuba, tech-savvy but at-risk, seriously challenges school authorities.
  • An exceptional student from Guatemala reveals a childhood trauma.
  • Brothers from Liberia encounter rejection by their classmates.
  • A student from Burma begins school completely illiterate yet manages to make great strides socially and academically.
  • Two sisters from China suffer a tragedy in a gym locker room.
  • Smith and a student from Mexico, both pregnant, share their joys and concerns.

These are among the many situations at the basis of eighteen narratives, with the final one an exploration of the rewards her students gain from venturing out into the mainstream community.

Each of Smith’s accounts, some light-hearted, others not, guarantee an emotional reaction: laughing out loud, feeling your heart grow heavy, unwittingly raising your fist as you silently cheer for a courageous teen.

Here! ultimately provides a deeper understanding and respect for what newcomers to our schools, and the teachers and staff who welcome them, are up against.

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