Know And Remain True to Your North Star

A morning walk of reflection at CAL Poly Pomona

Everyone should get to get up in the morning and walk and take in views like this. I didn’t realize that Cal Poly Pomona had so much beauty on the campus. This morning I got up and took a walk before the conference. Here are a few photos.

Over the course of the days here I am coming to understand the importance of the work we do each day at HSHMC, and the work my colleagues are doing in schools and classrooms across the nation to make this country, and the world, a better place. I pulled from quotes from the past few days to highlight some of the musings in my mind this evening.


“To some degree, this is about staying in touch with the passion about children’s rights to their language, to an education, to their culture- to rectify the inequities in schools and society. But to some degree, it is also more specific- about realizing what part of that matters to you and why- and always keeping it in your heart.”


I am thinking today how I want our work to transform education for English learners, particularly those students designated as LTELs, that label that defines and most likely confines many of students. In thinking about the work I am doing, it is about sharing the work with all content area teachers in a way that will make curriculum more accessible and meaningful. It is about breaking the academic language barrier, helping students speak and write in academic ways. This is my goal, with three decades in education working with ELs, I want so much to use that experience to better support students in our humanities classes, and then share those strategies out to a bigger audience.

“Advocacy is not what we do for others but what we do with others to transform our community.” 

NEA ELL Advocacy Guide 2015

Forming alliances with like minded people is what makes a difference. Find your tribe, Find the people who can support your goals and aspirations. Together you can do more than going out on your own.

“How important it is as EDUCATORS to stand up- and that you cannot necessarily count on people who SHOULD stand up, to do so.” Rosa Salinas

Find it in your heart to do what is right, when it is needed.Be brave. Be brave enough to have conversations that matter.So many times I find myself looking to see who else will stand up, when in reality if we are honest with ourselves, we realize that we each need to take that first step. It isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it. It is important to take the time to explore your own thoughts, discover what it is as go after it. Don’t wait for the people who “are supposed to” take action, be the leader. If you do it right, many people will join you. Take the first step, speak up and take thoughtful, purposeful action to bring a positive resolution to a situation.

“ANY steps forward, any brave efforts, baby steps even. Find ways to highlight and share it. Give them recognition. Present and talk about their work. Give them that sense of being valued .” Yee Wan

Finally, be generous with your spirit. Honor those that take risks, teachers who go out on a limb to make a difference for our kids. Honor the small steps students take every day to get better. Value the process, and bring that recognition outward. Celebrate along the way, keeping your eye on the greater goal. Make space to honor others, it is truly one of the most important things we can do to ensure people continue to take risks and work hard. We are stronger and better together.