Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 2020 Issue »

    “Above and Beyond Any Other Teacher or Staff”

    The Invisible Nourishment Work of Bilingual Support Staff

    Julissa Ventura
    This article explores the work of four high school bilingual support staff and how they went above and beyond their official job duties to support Latinx students. Drawing on eighteen months of ethnographic research in three high schools in Wisconsin, author Julissa Ventura shows how bilingual support staff nourished Latinx students by creating borderlands spaces, enacting pedagogies of acompañamiento, and taking on bridging work between school and students’ families. The study also highlights how bilingual support staff were often marginalized and unsupported in their work. Ventura makes clear that as schools continue to hire bilingual support staff in demographically changing schools, it is important to understand the multifaceted nature of their role and to center their expertise and knowledge in moving toward the nourishment of all students.

    Click here to access this article.
    Julissa Ventura (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0205-1242) is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Policy and Leadership Studies at Marquette University. She is a second-generation Salvadoreña who grew up in a Latinx immigrant neighborhood in New Jersey. Her background inspired her to work with Latinx youth and parents in afterschool and community spaces. Her research focuses on the ways community-based spaces and programs, inside and outside of schools, can provide youth with nourishing environments where they can exercise their voice and become actors of change. She is also interested in how community educators and community-based practices, such as participatory action research, can help abolish school policies and practices that marginalize students of color and transform schools into spaces where all students can thrive. Her work has been published in the Association of Mexican American Educators Journal and International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.
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