In its 27th year, Monterey County's program serves as model.  

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Monterey County Office of Education

Leadership, Support and Service to Prepare All Students for Success

Dr. Nancy Kotowski, County Superintendent of Schools

Binational Migrant Teacher Program and Migrant Education Summer Program Enrich Migrant Families with Culture, Learning, and Love

Binational Migrant Teacher Program and Migrant Education Summer Program Enrich Migrant Families with Culture, Learning, and Love

Friday, Jul 13, 2018

male and female elementary students dance while practicing for a performance

For the 27th year in Monterey County, teachers from Mexico are visiting local districts to share their knowledge and engage in their own professional growth. The Binational Migrant Education Program is an international program between the Secretary of Public Education of Mexico and the California Department of Education (CDE) which offers the binational summer program - a collaborative effort among the Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (Secretary of Foreign Relations), Secretaría de Educación Pública (Secretary of Public Education) of individual states in Mexico, the Mexican Consulates, the CDE, and participating Migrant Education Regions. As part of the program, teachers from Mexico spend six to eight weeks in a school district in California sharing culture and teaching strategies to support migrant students.

This year, 12 teachers (seven from Michoacán and five from Guanajuato) are concluding their intensive professional development work next week. While here, they have gifted their passion for education and knowledge of Mexican culture and curriculum to Pre-K through 12th grade students and/or parents in ten Monterey County districts (Alisal, Chualar, Gonzales, Greenfield, King City, North Monterey County, Salinas City, Salinas Union High School, Santa Rita, South Monterey County).

During a visit to the July 11, 2018 Monterey County Board of Education meeting, two binational teachers shared their reflections on their time here and expressed true gratitude for the welcoming spirit shown to them throughout their time in Monterey County.

“The phenomenon of student migrant between México and the United States poses great social challenges, which directly affect school age children and young adults. The emotional instability that occurs when they are in this situation can cause in their education and contribute to student dropout rates. It may also develop a lack of national identity and idealism, social and cultural instability, confusion of language etc. This program promotes the development of Mexican children and young adults who are in this situation given the fact that they are the most vulnerable. Promoting global learning is one of the elements reflected in the teaching practice in Mexico. By teaching children and young adults who come from the U.S.A., sharing strategies and methodologies of teaching with both U.S. and Mexican teaching partners, we hope to produce empathetic, responsible people with values.”

Karen Liliana Jaimes Martinez from San Miguel de Ayende, Guanajuato

Christian Hernandez from Michoacán, Mexico, expressed his excitement for the learning opportunities and the hospitality shown to him. “I cannot wait to tell my coworkers and friends that way schools work here. Fellowship, friendship, support for, and responsibility are very important things in schools as a teacher, and you have them all, right here in California. My favorite part of my experience here has been the warmth shown to me by everyone I meet.”

During their board visit, the two also distributed gifts of candy and crafts to the Board and Cabinet from Mexico.

Summer sessions throughout Monterey County districts are serving students Pre-K through 12th grade. Throughout the programs, binational teachers are partnering with the local district’s teachers to offer lessons focusing on curriculum and strategies from both the United States and Mexico. During parent workshops, teachers from both countries partner to provide family members positive parenting strategies, and sessions on health and wellness, along with cultural activities including crafts and performances.

Monterey County Office of Education’s Migrant Education Program Region 16 Binational Teacher Summer Program serves as a model throughout California, receiving guests from other regions to observe the comprehensive and impactful program offered to Monterey County’s migrant families. Teachers are hosted by local families and welcomed with three intensive days of orientation and professional development. The summer sessions are concluded with beloved closing celebrations and programs, showcasing student projects and cultural performances.

The Monterey County Office of Education thanks our twelve binational teachers for sharing their knowledge and passions with Monterey County educators and students, and looks forward to continuing the relationships established this summer for years to come.

For photos, please visit the MCOE Facebook page.