I have a colleague, a fellow doctoral student, who teaches English as a Second Language (ESL) full time at a local middle school. Recently she has shared stories of her students and their brave journeys from their homelands to this country. She speaks on their behalf—to represent their marginalized voices at a time when those students might feel unrepresented. Reading children’s and young adult literature with children can promote fruitful dialogues about this difficult topic (Stewart, 2015). Additionally, reading children’s and YA literature can foster empathy, understanding, and the desire to create safe, welcoming spaces. When used for refugee students, reading children’s and young adult literature can provide an opportunity to see themselves in a book. When g
An old Chinese proverb states that “The journey of 1,000 begins with a single step." Another colloquial warning against judgement is to “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes,” implying, of course, that we don’t really know what another person is “walking through” and therefore we should not pass judgement on anyone. Pondering these two quotes together brings to mind thoughts of the humble beginnings of compassion, for, it seems, we have a thousand miles (or more) to bridge the divide between ourselves and others.