If You Only Knew
Letters From An Immigrant Teacher
by Emily Francis
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Pub Date 01 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 12 Jan 2023
Written with passion and a visceral commitment to her students, If You Only Knew: Letters from An Immigrant Teacher reflects the journey and experiences of Emily Francis, an immigrant and unaccompanied minor who travels from Guatemala to the USA to become a teacher. Once in the classroom, “Ms. Francis” learns about her students’ stories and journeys and begins to see her own life reflected in the lives of her students. Emily starts writing letters to her students in which her story is intertwined with theirs. This offers a unique expression of empathy, which helps them on their own personal journeys as immigrants living and learning in a new country.
“I could… imagine the fear you probably felt as you prepared to walk in a brand new school in a brand new country, so I made a promise that… I would make sure your experience would be a whole lot different than the one you had in that “icebox” with immigration.” (from the letter, “Dear Orlando”)
Speaking to both young adults and their teachers, If You Only Knew delivers support, solace, and empathy for immigrant students whose stories are too often are ignored. From personal experience, Emily Francis’ mission to offer a leg up to immigrant students deeply resonates with everyone interested in the immigrants and their journeys.
A Note From the Publisher
See Emily Francis on Ellen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RI_STHTJfk
“Coming to a new country is daunting, and Emily Francis’ riveting, emotional, and thought-provoking collection of letters between her and her students immediately grabbed the attention of my learners, opening the door for conversations about their own journeys.”
—Pamela Broussard, New Arrival Center teacher, Cypress Falls High School
“I think that this story represents me, and matters to me because I’ve had a good experience of what happens when you’re suffering in certain ways. This story may help [immigrants] to understand that we can have a better future and learn new things.”
—Oliver Coreas, student of Emily Francis
TIMELY TIE -INS
Self- Improvement Month
Hispanic Heritage Month
Back to School Month
Buy a Book Day – September 7
International Literacy Day – September 8
Positive Thinking Day – September 13
World Gratitude Day – September 21
National Book Month
World Teachers Day – October 5
Indie Authors Day – October 12
Conflict Resolution Day – October 17
Make a Difference Day – October 22
National Immigration Day – October 28
National Authors Day – November 1
National Young Readers Day – November 8
National STEM and STEAM Day – November 8
Education Week – November 15
National Parents Involvement Day – November 18
Giving Tuesday – November 29
Tell us about what it was like growing up in Guatemala, then immigrating to the U.S.
Please talk about the role your mother and family played in your becoming a teacher
The language barrier for immigrants entering schools in a new country is daunting – can you talk to this subject?
What advice would you give a family who is considering moving to the U.S. for a better education?