Cover Photo: Tallulah Pomeroy
Tallulah Pomeroy

Teaching in the Trump Era: How Do We Provide Support and Sanctuary to Our Students?

As an educator, I’m still discerning what it means to try and protect my students while empowering them.

Now in my second year of teaching English language arts and special education, I still leverage research against my own inexperience. In grad school, they tell you to never answer a direct question from a student. You’re supposed to turn the question back to them, rephrase it, break it down into parts, or walk around and approach it from another angle. Your job is not about proving what you know as a teacher; it’s about getting your students to grapple with the questions.

Antigone“What do you think is going to happen to my family?” he asked me.

S said he understood, but now I wonder if I failed him in that moment. These small, seemingly innocuous concessions can accumulate and become larger compromises.

This means that the focus for my work as an activist has to be finding a way to keep ICE out of New York public schools, because once they are inside, teachers have no means of resistance.

The Prison Notebooks

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Justin Engles is a writer and educator whose work has appeared in Four Way Review, Prefix, and Mangrove. He lives in New York, where he teaches special education.

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