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Principals, give your students reasons to become educators

Laura Mourino
3 min readJul 7, 2021


Dear Principal,

I know you are busy and are trying your best but since we are at that time of year when you are hiring people, I was wondering if you could hire someone that looks more like me and has a childhood similar to mine.

The problem is that there aren’t that many people in our school who understand what I mean when I say I am tired because I had to baby sit my little brother. The teachers don’t understand that I have to start helping my parents with dinner and so I don’t have alot of time for school in the afternoon, which explains why I am tired. I have to do homework at night — sometimes with my cell phone flashlight because everyone else is sleeping.

They don’t understand that it’s dangerous to go outside in my neighborhood on Halloween which is why I’m always absent on Halloween.

I keep thinking people that look like me or talk like me aren’t meant to be teachers since I never seem to see them at any of my schools working as teachers.

Don’t get me wrong, I love our school!

The teachers are nice and they care about me. They constantly tell me they have “read” all about my background and understand what I am going through.

I didn’t know there was a book about me. I want to read it!

They say they have lots of background in knowing how to meet my “needs”. I don’t even know what my needs are. By the way, are my teacher “needs” the same as mine?

One of them told me he was going to mentor me so I can be “successful”. Ok so does everyone have a mentor or just me? Second, who chose him as my mentor? Can I pick who will mentor me? Third, what does he mean by “successful” because I don’t know if his meaning matches mine.

I love my teachers because they are so kind but sometimes, I feel like they feel sorry for me. They offer me food when I’m not hungry. Are they trying to make me gain weight or do they want me to experiment with that Quinoa or Quonoa or that brown weird thing they eat because no thank you, I’ll stick to my own food.

Don’t get me wrong, if there were like a food festival at my school, I would totally try lots of food but when teachers are randomly offering food to just me it feels weird.

A lot of times I don’t understand the words my teachers use — it’s like I’m learning a whole new language and I worry I can’t even pronounce the words the way they say it.

I know the teachers from my school come from fancy universities and they love to talk about their schools but sometimes they can really make me feel real ignorant.

To be honest, it sometimes makes me feel even more stupid — like there is this other world I never knew about and all of a sudden, I am supposed to know it inside out because my teachers are from that world.

I wish there were more of me at my school so I can dream about being a teacher and so I can have someone I feel safe to talk to and have someone who might really understand what I am going through.

So dear Principal, if you can, can you please hire someone like me this year.

Thanks for reading this.



Laura Mourino

Education Activist. Math Adjunct Professor — Baruch and Hunter College (CUNY) , The New School and NYC public school Math Educator (Harvest Collegiate HS)