Culturally and linguistically diverse students bring backstories to our classrooms that many of us could never imagine. In a unit on telling our personal histories, several of my students opened up about their travels from Central America to our state. They wrote of walking for days and nights through deserts, sleeping in trash bags to stay warm, riding on top of "The Beast" (see picture) across Mexico, being held in detention centers, getting barely enough food and water to stay alive, etc. It's hard to imagine fully what this kind of experience can do to a child or adolescent and what ramifications it has on his or her education once they find their way into our school. Many of them have had incredible journeys to get to our suburban classrooms.