"Kia orana Jeff,
Thank you for your gift (knowledge) at the recent conference Tuia Te Ako in Auckland New Zealand. Having seen you first at Social Justice Education Symposium, I have used your stories to promote a critical literacy student centered pedagogy. And now having seen a second presentation of yours, it has added to my own self and professional development. The wealth of knowledge that you share is inspiring. I look forward to the many gifts that you will share in the future."
- Bruce George,
Ako Aotearoa National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence
I currently teach English to freshmen and sophomores in the state of Arizona. About five years ago one of my professors assigned your book as a class reading. As I've gotten older and experienced life, as well as life within the walls of low-income schools, I find myself now in my 4th year of teaching having the deepest burning desire to follow in your footsteps. You are the first person I have as a role model and "hero" that I don't actually know in real life. You have inspired me more than I ever thought someone could do. So, just know that your research and words are influencing in a beneficial way the lives of hundreds of students every single day."
- Erica Jay
"Hello Dr. Andrade-
I had the good fortune of hearing you speak for the second (and third) time last week in Eden Prairie. We spoke after your presentation on how I, as a middle school dean of students, could help students feel more of a sense of belonging even when it involved discipline concerns. I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical of your advice to ask the question “what happened to you?” when I met with students. I have been in this role for 15 years and I have tried very hard to work with students as individuals rather than as their behaviors. I expected to just get answers like “my teacher is mean” or “I don’t like that class.” I tried your question right away Thursday morning and was pleasantly shocked by the responses I got. Even though I was seeing students for fairly minor events: tardies to class, etc, the answers I got were full of information and allowed us to problem solve in a whole new way. I learned about family issues, academic struggles and a need to plan differently to get from one place to another in our building all from that question. One student who has barely spoken on a few previous visits to my office engaged with me like never before. As a veteran in my position, I was surprised by how much one question could change an interaction. I have passed this advice on to my dean colleague, our counselors and our administration as a very powerful method of connecting with students. Thank you!"
- Kristine Myers
7th Grade Dean of Students, Central Middle School