Nuestra Escuela: Part 2

Nuestra Escuela: Part 2

Nuestra Escuela. Photo By: Iris Kirsch
Nuestra Escuela. Photo By: Iris Kirsch

“Our school” in more ways than one, Nuestra Escuela is a gem. The school is democratically organized, honoring the voices of students and teachers alike.

Of course, teenagers in general are not always known to use the most forethought of any age group. In addition is that many of these young people have experienced poverty, abuse and failure, and it might seem foolhardy to entrust them with important decisions about their education.

Furthermore, Puerto Rico has a long history of colonialism, having been passed like collateral from Spain to the United States. It might also seem that a people so long objectified would have trouble executing the self-rule necessary for democratic education to work.

From this seeming paradox is born the beauty of Nuestra Escuela. The school's organization is based on recognizing that the odds are stacked against Puerto Rican children, and that critical thinking, self-confidence and a deep understanding of their country's noble history will help them beat those odds.

Iris Kirsch

Iris Kirsch is a Baltimore City Public School teacher and a worker-owner of the Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse. A native New Yorker, ze has been living in Baltimore for the past 13 years and loves it. Ze is a voracious reader, an amateur costumer, and a perennial joke-player. Some of zer articles are partially ghost-written by zer cat, Cat Jones.