Stephanie Carrillo

Stephanie Carrillo is a 10th grade history teacher and the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Campbell Hall Episcopal. An L.A. native, Stephanie has taught in Los Angeles schools for more than 20 years and has a particular passion for area art, history, and culture. Stephanie is also a member of Facing History and Ourselves Teacher Leadership Team and she enjoys collaborating with educators in the Los Angeles Partnership Network.

Recent Posts

The Compassion Cap

Posted by Stephanie Carrillo on October 24, 2016

Right around the time the Syrian refugee crisis was at the height of its media coverage in the U.S., I noticed a familiar kind of backlash on my newsfeed. Amidst the photos showing desperate throngs of people escaping with only their lives, between the articles imploring me to donate or explaining how I could help Syrian refugees, I saw another kind of plea. "Don't Let Them In."

I wasn't surprised by the politicians who were quick to go on record, justifying all the reasons the U.S. could not or should not extend offers of asylum, however I was a bit taken aback by the similarly swift response by several of my friends on social media. Suddenly memes were appearing on my feed, with messages such as "No Syrian Refugees Until ALL of Our Veterans are Off the Street. Hit 'LIKE/SHARE' if You Agree!" In no time at all, I was reminded by multiple people of the pressing issues that "should" take precedence over the refugee crisis. Homelessness, unemployment, the war on terror-- all of these were suggested as reasons why a person was simply unable to care about the thousands of uprooted families fleeing violence. This really made me wonder, is there a "Compassion Cap"? Does showing concern for one issue leave a person unable to care about another matter? Is our “Universe of Obligation” a series of tightly drawn circles or an expansive space that includes all of humanity?

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Topics: News, Universe of Obligation, Empathy

Why My Daughters Love Malala

Posted by Stephanie Carrillo on September 10, 2015

Last summer I read the book I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban for a book club. It's not often that I read a book and want to immediately share it with my daughters (mostly because their ages are 15, 13 and 7) but I found Yousafzai's memoir so compelling and inspiring, I couldn't help but share her story with my children. That summer, I read the book aloud to my girls nightly and found that not only did they love the book, but they also felt a strong connection to the author. Each evening as we curled up in one of their beds for the night's installment of the memoir, they became more invested in the story, interested in the issues the book raised, and inspired by her example. On a recent trip to the bookstore, my 7 year old saw a poster of Yousafzai and exclaimed with delight, "Look, it's Malala! Oh I just LOVE her!" And why not? They feel connected to and inspired by Malala in four key ways.

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Topics: Community Event, In the news

Why We Love Monsters

Posted by Stephanie Carrillo on October 28, 2014

As Halloween draws near, representations of ghosts, goblins, and vampires saturate the seasonal displays. Given the success of various Halloween events at local theme parks, it's clear that there is no shortage of people who want to be frightened. For a fee, we can go to a haunted house or staged zombie apocalypse, and experience the thrill of controlled panic.

I can't help but ask myself, "Why would we want to surround ourselves with these images? What is our fascination with monsters?"

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Topics: Holocaust and Human Behavior, Social and Emotional Learning, Upstander

Five Ways to Create a Safe Classroom Space

Posted by Stephanie Carrillo on August 6, 2014

No matter how long I've been in teaching, there's always this to look forward to with the start of the school year: the promise of a new beginning. After spending a year outside of the classroom, I'll be returning to teaching at a different school this fall and I'm excited to re-establish the pattern of rewarding teacher-student relationships that I've built over two decades. At the start of the school year, whether the students know me or not, the classroom dynamics have not been set and the patterns of interaction are yet to be established. I am given anew the chance to create the classroom environment which will both nurture and challenge my students. I can intentionally and purposely create a safe space where every person is allowed to bring his or her authentic self to the classroom and express the thoughts and opinions that he or she holds. How do I do that? Well...

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Topics: Safe Schools, Teaching, Social and Emotional Learning, Teaching Strategy, A View from the Classroom

One City, Many Stories

Posted by Stephanie Carrillo on August 2, 2014

Los Angeles is a city with quite a reputation. Depending on whom you ask, L.A. is the land of perpetual sunshine and carefree living or a concrete jungle of congested freeways and unrelenting smog. From the outside, people may be tempted to view Los Angeles as a monolith, however most Angelenos know better.

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Los Angeles, Student Work, Social and Emotional Learning, A View from the Classroom

"Remember the Ladies"

Posted by Stephanie Carrillo on July 18, 2014

When I taught U.S. history, early in the semester my students were required to read and discuss Abigail Adams' letter dated March 31, 1776 to her husband John. In it, Adams asks that her husband not forget about women's rights while fighting for America's independence from Great Britain. She wrote,

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Topics: Civil Rights Movement, Choosing to Participate, Teaching, Critical Thinking, Upstander

The Great Wall of Los Angeles: a Window into Our Past

Posted by Stephanie Carrillo on July 10, 2014

If you mention the Great Wall, most people automatically think of a brick fortification built in the seventh century that remains symbolic of Chinese culture and history. Did you know, however, that there is a "Great Wall" right here in town? If you have never seen or heard of the Great Wall of Los Angeles, allow me to introduce you to an amazing cultural and artistic wonder of our city - one that could easily be adapted as a teaching tool for your classroom.

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Topics: Teaching, Los Angeles, Teaching Strategy

Happy Birthday, Anne!

Posted by Stephanie Carrillo on June 11, 2014

Anne Frank. The name and the face are instantly recognizable to millions of people throughout the world. And whether we think of Anne's legacy as one of a prodigious literary genius, an unfailing optimist, an insightful adolescent, or as a representative of the plight of Jews during World War II, the one word that we most closely associate with her is diary. Anne Frank received that now-famous diary on June 12, 1942 for her thirteenth birthday. Had she survived the Holocaust, Anne Frank would be 85 today.

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Topics: Teaching, Holocaust and Human Behavior, Critical Thinking, Social and Emotional Learning

The Fabric That Connects Us

Posted by Stephanie Carrillo on April 4, 2014

Remember how we imagined teaching would be? Students, projects, stacks of grading to complete- those were the things we knew to expect. Yet we were probably unaware of the sense of isolation educators sometimes feel. Teaching can be such a solitary profession. Although we may be part of an interdisciplinary team or the member of a department, the better part of our day is spent as the only adult in a roomful of students. Whom do we turn to for help or guidance? How do we form connections with a larger community of educators? What is the fabric that connects us to one another?

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Topics: Safe Schools, Mentoring

Remember Franklin McCain: a Story of Courage and Kindness

Posted by Stephanie Carrillo on February 6, 2014

Last month we lost the civil rights legend Franklin McCain. His passing makes me wonder, "How can we honor the memory of someone who took such a courageous stand? What is a fitting tribute to someone who impacted the lives of so many?" More than 50 years ago, McCain and three others who became known as the "Greensboro Four" initiated the sit-in movement that led to the desegregation of lunch counters across the South.

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Topics: Civil Rights Movement, Choosing to Participate, Judgement and Legacy

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This blog helps Southern California teachers connect directly with each other, share ideas, and learn about new resources and opportunities for those interested in or already implementing Facing History.

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