Filipina Teachers in U.S. Inner Cities

I’ve met a number of Filipino teachers in the D.C. area due to helping out with my family’s immigration law practice. I saw this update on a documentary featuring Filipinas who struggle with being educators in the U.S., especially in one of Maryland’s tough neighborhoods. This also gives people more insight into the struggles that Filipino immigrants face and that not all Filipinas are nurses. Being a teacher is tough, but being a Filipino who is carrying the weight of their family back home in the Philippines is even tougher.

A Century After American Educators Helped Create Public Schools in the Philippines, Filipino Teachers Are Returning the Favor – in America’s Inner Cities “The Learning is like no other teaching film – it sensitizes you in fresh and unexpected ways to the transactions between instructors and students.” – Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun

One hundred years ago, American teachers established the English-speaking public school system of the Philippines. Now, in a striking turnabout, American schools are recruiting Filipino teachers. Ramona Diaz’s The Learning is the story of four Filipina women who reluctantly leave their families and schools to teach in Baltimore. They hope to use their higher salaries to transform their families’ impoverished lives back home. But the women bring idealistic visions of the teacher’s craft and of life in America, which soon collide with Baltimore’s tough realities.

The Learning has its national broadcast premiere on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011 at 10 p.m. on POV (Point of View) on PBS. (Check local listings.) The film will stream in its entirety on the POV website, Sept. 21 – Oct. 21. POV is the winner of a Special Emmy for Excellence in Television Documentary Filmmaking, an IDA Award for Best Continuing Series and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers’ 2011 Award for Corporate Commitment to Diversity.


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