Creating a Sense of Belonging for Immigrant and Refugee Students : Strategies for K-12 Educators book cover
1st Edition

Creating a Sense of Belonging for Immigrant and Refugee Students
Strategies for K-12 Educators

ISBN 9781032000084
Published March 16, 2022 by Routledge
224 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Discover how to create a sense of belonging and connection for your immigrant and refugee students. This timely book, written by four award-winning teachers, offers compelling stories and practical applications to help you reach your students in the classroom and beyond.

Topics covered include advocacy, using literacy to create a welcoming environment, connecting with families, building staff capacity and best practices for virtual learning. You’ll also find easy-to-implement lesson plans, as well as reflection questions throughout to help you on your journey.

Appropriate for K-12 teachers, English Learner specialists and school leaders, this inspiring and useful book will help you make the necessary changes to create more positive outcomes for your immigrant students.

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: From English language learner to Educator 1. Through the lens of an English language learner 2. Being the educator immigrant students need 3. Advocacy within and beyond the classroom Part 2: Using Literacy to Create a Welcoming Environment for Refugee and Immigrant Students 4. Using Sheltered Instruction Protocol 5. Creating a welcoming environment through literacy 6. Sharing Stories and Creating Partnerships Part 3: Critical Components for Developing a Welcoming Program For English Learners 7. Building relationships with families 8. Building staff capacity 9. Welcoming and inspiring students Part 4: Distance Learning for Refugee and Immigrant Students 10. Teaching, engaging, building relationships and creating community in a virtual classroom Closing

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Mandy Manning recently transitioned from a 21-year career as a classroom teacher, to advocating for educators, public schools and students as the Digital Content Specialist for the Washington Education Association. For the previous 8 years Mandy was the first teacher for newly arrived refugee and immigrant students at Ferris High School in the Newcomer Center in Spokane, WA. Mandy is the 2018 National Teacher of the Year.

Ivonne Orozco Sahi teaches high school Spanish in Albuquerque. As a first-generation college student, immigrant, former DACA recipient, queer woman of color, Ivonne has found her voice in education through her intersectionalities. Ivonne is a co-founder of Teachers Against Child Detention and is the 2018 New Mexico Teacher of the Year.


Leah Juelke, the 2018 North Dakota Teacher of the Year, is a high school English Language Arts teacher, K-12 English Learner specialist and literacy coach in Fargo, North Dakota. She is a decorated educator whose passion for global education, literacy and creating a welcoming community for refugee and immigrant English Learners earned her a spot as one of the top 10 teachers in the world and a finalist for the Global Teacher Prize in 2020.  ​

Sarahí Monterrey is an English Learner teacher at Waukesha South School. She was named Wisconsin's 2018-2019 High School Teacher of the year.  She was selected as Wisconsin’s 2019 State Teacher of the Year representative to the National Teacher of the Year program and is the first Latina in the state of Wisconsin to have this honor. As a child immigrant from El Salvador, Sarahí Monterrey recognizes the pivotal role teachers play in students’ lives.


"This is a heartwarming book about the passion educators have for helping immigrant and refugee students, and the inspirational stories of the students who have overcome so much to get here. The determination of these students to learn how to adapt to their new country is extraordinary."--Jim Shaw, Forum Communications Columnist

"Usually, I need a bookmark when reading, but not here. With powerful stories and applicable strategies for all classrooms, Creating a Sense of Belonging for Immigrant and Refugee Students kept me reading from the moment I opened the book until finishing the last word. Throughout the entire book you are given the opportunity for reflection, as well as reminded of the power of human connection, empathy, and the importance of seeing our students for the people they are and experiences they carry!"--Josh Monroe, 5th Grade Teacher, Nebraska

"Creating a Sense of Belonging for Immigrant and Refugee Students: Strategies for K-12 Educators is an invaluable resource for teachers who teach immigrant and refugee students. The authors, four award-winning teachers, share strategies they have used to connect with their immigrant and refugee students and their families to make them feel welcomed and empowered in their schools and communities. These passionate, exemplary teachers share their unique, personal stories of their journeys working with their students and by sharing their insights inspire other educators to help their immigrant students reach their full potential."--Cindy Benson, Retired English Learner Teacher, Fargo South High School