Supporting Students with Interrupted Formal Education - A Guide for Teachers

Before tackling learning concerns, Sarah takes us through ‘tackling trauma’ - how to recognize it, and how to create a trauma - sensitive environment. This crucial section, often not emphasized enough in SLIFE literature (or any education literature), highlights the role mental health plays in our students school experience and learning. The use of questioning directed at the teacher reading the guide, prompts teacher reflection of biases, knowledge, and awareness, driving teacher growth.

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Yousef's Grit

When he was in New York, he had to delicately balance work at his family store and his school schedule. While he wasn’t considered “SLIFE” by standard classifications, he did have gaps in his education because of his absences.  Yet, Yousef never ceased to amaze me. He always showed up to school one way or another - whether he had just traveled thousands of miles back from a summer in Yemen or worked an overnight shift.

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Stephanie Grasso: Coach and English Language Specialist

I hope that the country as a whole will begin to develop the mindset that someone with a different language and set of life experiences is a value to our society.  In order to truly evolve, we must move towards more educator and administrator training on SLIFE.  If we learn that celebrating education, cultural and language differences in schools, we will be able to evolve past exclusion in our society as a whole.  

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Ángelo's Fierce Determination

Ángelo arrived to the U.S. from Honduras as an 18-year-old unaccompanied minor who had been out of school for nearly a decade. He barely remembered to write his name, but his unwavering strength and incredible determination inspired a team of teachers to rally around him—and they watched as Ángelo achieved what many on the outside would have considered impossible.

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Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Vs. SLIFE

After some considerable convincing, he was evaluated for special education services and received an IEP. As a result, Jose switched schools that could better service his cognitive and behavioral needs. After some time, it was communicated to us that Jose dropped out of his new school and that he was struggling to write words with more than a couple syllables, showing that it was possible he was losing part of his Spanish literacy. What is a student like Jose supposed to do in a system that is not created for students like him? Where does he go to get the ‘best’ and most ‘appropriate’ education?

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