Thesis

The tales (stories) of Latino teachers who returned to teach in the predominately Latino populated communities in which they were raised

It is important to understand why certain Latino teachers have returned to teach in the predominately Latino-populated communities in which they were raised. Schools are increasingly finding themselves inundated with Latino students. Yet, as the Latino student population grows, their continues to exist a demand for Latino teachers who can better meet their needs. Latinos are dropping out of school at a very high rate and are only represented in higher education by a very small number. The absence of Latinos in education possibly effects the education of Latino students negatively. Latinos are not provided with appropriate role models to emulate. Well-intentioned teachers who may not understand their upbringing are teaching them. Teachers with values, morals, and a language different from their students are at times hindered in their teaching. Latino students are also at risk from a curriculum that maybe disconnected from their community. The culture and language of the community are not adequately infused in the curriculum and Latinos are sometimes unable to identify with the school. As a result, students are faced with the dilemma of choosing between the values of the home or those of the school. The researchers qualitatively studied Latino teachers for similarities in their decisions to teach in their communities. A focus of this study was an awareness of the need for Latino role models in education. Recruiting more Latino teachers should be a priority for school districts faced with the growing number of Latino students.

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