Opinion: ‘Day without immigrants’ resonates in Incline schools
Incline Village, Lake Tahoe, may not be the first place you think of when you hear the protest “a day without immigrants,” but I felt a strong presence for the movement that day. I am a classroom teacher who teaches at two capacities — English language arts and teaching English to second language learners.
The impact of not having all my students attend their classes Feb. 16 stirred my emotions to a state of reflection and discovery for a voice in the matter. I am elated for my families who had the courage to stand up for themselves. I am disappointed they represented gaping holes in my classes. I am proud they expressed their beliefs. I am frustrated because I depend on them — as do their peers.
The adjustments in my classroom are duly noted here and extend far beyond the walls of my tiny classroom. Lessons designed for collaboration to encourage peer interaction and unity — effected.
A little rearranging ensued but a huge impact was felt by all. Explanations to students for why their peers were not here carried a genuine and heartfelt ring as they realized the purpose of those absent.
As an English teacher who seeks to find each symbolic moment in literature as a meaningful message for real life, the message on Feb. 16 was voiced on its own. The absence of students is a clear reflection to their presence in our school, our educational institutions, our community.
It is a clear reflection of how we depend on each other. It is a true reflection of our identity. If we lose them, we lose a piece of who we have become in our small school, our tiny village and our community as a whole.