The number of undocumented children caught at the U.S.-Mexico border has more than doubled in the past two years. At least one in 10 of them will eventually enroll in school in Texas, where teachers are trying to find ways to effectively educate them.
“The hardest thing is having 26 kids looking at you. Because they’re not understanding, so you act out, do whatever you can to get the point across to what you want them to do,” said Maimuna Abdilahi, a fourth grade teacher in Houston.
The teachers try to create as welcoming an environment as possible for the children. Many of them came to the U.S. to flee violence and gangs. In many Central American countries, children are inducted into gang life when they are just 13 years old.
“Most of the kids are excited to be here, they’re excited that they left wherever was not safe,” Abdialhi said. “Some are excited, some are quiet for longer periods of time… all of them learn English eventually.”