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Headshot Young Girl

Mina Marien


United States

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The challenge that I experience every day as both a teacher and parent is the lack of belonging that some students feel at school. We require kids to come each day, asking them to do their best, be engaged learners, and plan for the future. But how can they do this and feel connected, engaged, and seen if they don't feel they have a place. It is hard enough for some students to connect school to real life, and it is that much harder when students don't feel that they belong. This seems to be the case for students from many different backgrounds - not just marginalized groups. How can we give students an experience of school that both educates them as a student and honors them as a human being? How can we make the value they have in their own communities more relevant to their experience in a compulsory school setting? If we can tackle these challenges, I believe we will be better able to engage students in school and create a school system that more successfully prepares them to grow as individuals and productive members of their own communities.

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