Monday, February 23, 2015

Northeastern Illinois University alumna Tammy Oberg De La Garza has co-authored a new book that is designed to help teachers connect and succeed with their Latino students.

A release party for “Salsa Dancing in Gym Shoes: Exploring Cross-Cultural Missteps With Latinos in the Classroom” is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, 4046 W. Armitage Ave. in Chicago. The event is open to the public, and reservations are not required.

Oberg De La Garza, who began her career as a teacher in Chicago Public Schools, is an assistant professor at Roosevelt University, where she teaches and conducts research in literacy, language development, social equity and learning within Latino communities.

Latinos are the fastest-growing ethnic group in schools but the lowest-performing group in the nation, Oberg De La Garza said.

“The book release is exciting, but more importantly, I wanted to get this message out to new and upcoming teachers,” said Oberg De La Garza, who co-authored the book with Roosevelt University Assistant Professor of Education Alyson Lavigne. “It’s an important piece that’s missing in teacher education and development, and it’s a message we need to hear.”

Oberg De La Garza’s connection to Northeastern runs deep. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education – Teacher Education from Northeastern in 1993 and her master’s in Teaching Language Arts three years later. She also served as an instructor at Northeastern.

“Northeastern students are my people,” she said. “We learn the real world behind the theory in education and put it into practice.”

Tammy Oberg De La Garza