On October 22nd (2014) Winooski ELL teacher Blll Clark brought six juniors and seniors from Winooski High School to our Middle Level Organization at Champlain College. Our focus was “The challenge of creating democratic and inclusive middle schools.” For the WHS students it was their first time on campus, and they inspired our Champlain students with their family stories of of resilience and transition to a new country.
We began with mixed small group sharing of family immigration stories–prompted by the reminder that “We all have family stories of immigration–some stories are just more recent than others.” That seemed to put our visitors at ease as they one-by-one found their voices and helped our aspiring middle school teachers envision how they can humanize their diverse classrooms in the future. We ended the evening with a laughter-filled dinner together in the Dining Hall, a fitting conclusion to a richly-textured cross-cultural experience for all.
-David Leo-Nyquist, EHS Adjunct Instructor