by George J Elbaum
Somerville High School in suburban Boston has an enrollment of 1230 students in grades 9-12 and very high diversity: 43% Hispanic, 32% White, 14% Black, and 10% Asian. Many or most of the students do not speak English at home, and 73% are classified as coming from Low Income Families. Providing good quality education is therefore a demanding task for the faculty and it surely requires effort, patience, and love of teaching.
My presentation was for 120 10th grade students who have been studying WWII and, for the preceding weeks, the Holocaust, using Holocaust and Human Behavior texts and materials from Facing History and Ourselves. The presentation was organized by Social Studies teacher Steve Ensdorf, and also attended by Department Chair Alicia Kersten and teachers Carlos Contrearas and Roni Teich. My participation was arranged by Judi Bohn and Jeff Smith of Facing History and Ourselves.