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This is just a reminder to myself and anyone else who may benefit from such a reminder that ELL students face challenges that I would never have imagined when I was their age. One student was feeling so incredibly frustrated with his inabilities in math that he said, “You try and go to Somalia and learn the language and go to school at the same time. Then come back and talk to me.” Of course I am paraphrasing an entire conversation here, but his message is relevant nonetheless. 

The conversation moved from his frustrations to him sharing a story about his first day in the USA. He remembers it so vividly that he was able to describe the people he first encountered. He talked about his first meal and what he thought about America when he arrived. 

There are times when I read anti-immigrant rhetoric online, and I wish that I could somehow share these types of stories with those people. Of course I could write about it, but it wouldn’t have the same impact as listening to the person tell their story. 

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