Entries by Monica Rhor

The Benefits of Bilingualism

If you were raised in a bilingual home, you probably already realize the advantages of knowing more than one language.Learning a second language at a young age makes it easier to learn new words, increases brain flexibility, and is correlated with higher achievement in school. It also can create a more lasting connection to one’s native […]


Mothers Weep in Alabama…Once Again

How many mothers are weeping in Alabama? That’s what I keep asking myself as I scan the headlines and news stories coming out of the state now known as home to the harshest immigration law in the country. That’s what I keep wondering as I read descriptions of children vanishing from Alabama schools, of tearful […]


The Latina Behind The Latino List

How do you change the world if you’re still struggling to love yourself? How do you love yourself when you’re a young gay woman raised in a conservative Catholic family that believes homosexuality is wrong? For decades, Catherine Pino, one of Washington D.C.’s most influential Latino lobbyists and advocates, wrestled with those questions, building a […]


A Proud Latina: This is What I Am

It was a four-letter word I had never before heard. But when the kids from down the street hurled it at me with all the fury and filth of a spitball, I immediately knew it was bad. Even in elementary school, I could sense all the ugliness and hate and hostility the epithet contained.. Spic! […]


The New Latina Blogger World

They are feministas and fashionistas, multicultural mamis and political pundits, cake-decorators and coupon-clippers. They are the rising ranks of Latina bloggers. And their voices are changing the digital landscape, offering an inside view of the power and the diversity of the Latina community. “We have such vastly different experiences. That’s not something everyone understands,” says Angelica […]


Teaching English, Latina Style

My tenth-grade students sat in the darkness, their eyes fixed on the grainy black and white photograph magnified on a screen in front of the classroom.They considered the four figures frozen in time: a man with an insouciant grin, a woman with a pearly smile, a curly-haired girl wiping her nose, another staring defiantly into […]


A Journalist’s Journey of Reinvention

The high school principal, voice shaky, eyes glimmering with tears, stood behind the podium. Letting bad teachers go was part of her job, she explained, the next words scraping against her throat. Letting good teachers go was just…painful. I sat in the front row, scribbling notes into a pad, asking questions about procedure and policy, […]


Dealing With First Day Jitters As a Teacher

First day jitters? I spent hours preparing for my first day of school: choosing just the right outfit, sorting and re-sorting my newly-purchased supplies, carefully honing my greeting, researching the course curriculum—and sweating buckets! I wasn’t a kindergartner about to let go of my mami’s hand for the first time. I wasn’t a freshman about […]


Is Your Child Ready for Advanced Placement?

The good news: more Latino high school students are enrolling and succeeding in elite Advanced Placement courses. The bad news: many students—of all ethnicities and races—are walking into the rigorous, college-level classes unprepared for the workload and the demands of the program.In Advanced Placement classes, the pace is faster, material is more complex, and students […]