An Open Letter to Teachers as National Hispanic Heritage Month Ends

Dear Teachers,

As you know, Hispanic Heritage Month just ended. If you are like me, you spent hours researching how to showcase the contributions of Latino Americans in your curriculum. You Googled. You read. You spoke with your local librarian. It took a lot of time, but you didn't mind because it was worth it. But now, the month is over and you can go back to your normal lessons???

Hopefully not. Hopefully the month was a catalyst into truly celebrating the significant contributions of Latino Americans throughout the school year, because highlighting and studying the work of Latino artists and leaders only during a designated month isn't just marginalizing; it's insulting. (Imagine receiving thousands of texts and Facebook messages, and having countless articles written about you in honor of your Birthday - only to be ignored you for the rest of the year?)

Here are three ways that you can celebrate Latino heritage year-round in ways that are truly honoring.

1. Embrace your unique role.

Embrace your unique role, not just as teachers, but as cultural curators. You are the gatekeepers of culture for your classroom, the determiners of what your students will consider "normal" and "abnormal." You are the ones who help your students interpret history, question ideas, and the premises upon which those ideas are based. You are the ones who decide what (if anything) will be considered "other." In this role, you have the power to create a culture where cultural diversity is the norm, and exclusion is not.

Continue reading at the Huffington Post.