Syrian Poet, Activist Discusses Ways Educators Can Better Teach Foreign Students

Aug 2, 2019

Educators and Administrators from around Northeast Ohio are attending a summit at Kent State this week, intended to better prepare them to teach the next generation of students about the history and legacy of May 4.

One of the speakers they heard from is Syrian immigrant, poet and activist Sara Abou Rashed. She believes it's important to accommodate students of all backgrounds. She spoke about the hurdles she faced transitioning to a new education system in a different language. She says the words of one teacher really stuck with her.

“ ‘Sara, you tried your best, but it’s just not your language. Be glad you made it this far.’ I was glad I made it this far, and I wasn’t, and I’ll tell you why. Have you met students? When you tell them they cannot do something, they want nothing else in the world but to prove you wrong.”

Rashed says teachers need to be open to feedback and more aware of how students are doing inside and outside the classroom.

She says putting students in a leading role in the classroom can help new students feel more engaged and can teach other students topics they might not have learned otherwise.