Navigating the American School System as an Immigrant Student

I did not grow up speaking English. When I was born, my parents could not afford to raise me so I was sent to live in China, where I learned to speak Mandarin. As a result, when I came back to attend school in America, I did not speak any English. I struggled in elementary school. Most of my peers spoke English. During those early years, I was almost always extremely confused about what was happening and struggled to catch up to what was being taught in class.

How do you choose the right major?

Students who have their major chosen can be more focused. While many students are unsure of their major or field of study after high school, this is not a topic that is often discussed in schools. For myself, I think that without the proper direction of a major chosen and a career to attain, I will feel nervous and perplexed about my future. I need a goal to aim for. I don’t want to be confused when I step into college. I want to devote myself to my major wholeheartedly. If I don’t have a goal to work toward I feel uneasy and confused. I do have some majors I’m considering right now, but I don’t know which one I should focus on and which one will be more fitting.

Why Students Are Skipping YOUR Class: Improving Teacher Practice from a Student’s Perspective

(A guest post from Trylyon Love, an Oakland public school student and energy converter) A school is a place that we are supposed to be getting “educated.” If school is such a beneficial place for us, why are there so many students failing most of their classes? Why are students complaining every day about coming here?…

He’s More Than Just a Teacher, Mr. Bey Is a Game Changer

This is a piece by Oakland student Alondra Gonzalez, part of the Energy Convertors Fellowship led by Charles Cole III. This is me with my teacher, Mr. Bey. In the six months our class has known him he has earned not only our respect, but our love. I met him my first day of freshman year. I…

Bigger Than Bathrooms: Making Schools Safe for EVERY Student

A guest post from Ash Whipple, an Oakland student and one of Oakland’s Energy Converters. I’m sure when you’re out in public, or at work, all you worry about when going to the bathroom is if it’s clean or not. Nobody likes public bathrooms, they’re dirty, and you never know who you’re going to come across…