Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Teacher, Dreamer, DACA

I remember life before DACA.

I remember the fear, when, in my senior year of high school, my government class was required to apply to community college. I so worried people would find out that I was undocumented.

I remember the frustration, when, despite having the chance to go to college anywhere in my home state of Texas and graduating from UT-San Antonio, I couldn’t yet pursue my dream of teaching. Instead, I volunteered at reading initiatives, and through communities in school programs --anything to be in and around a classroom.

And, I remember the unbridled joy when President Obama signed DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). I was able to finish grad school, and today, I am proud to be going into my fourth year of teaching three and four-year-olds who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Educator, the fear, anxiety, and stress I felt all those years is something no one should have to go through. It will take all of us to ensure that the opportunities and futures of the Dreamers who live, study and work in the United States can continue. That is why I am asking you to show your support today.

Thank you. Together, we can stand up for all Dreamers, and make sure each and every one is able to live his or her best future.

Karen Reyes
Special education teacher, Austin, TX
NEA Member


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