This is going to be a random stream of my thoughts….. no real symmetry will happen, and I probably won’t connect one thought to the next with precision, but….I need to write this out as I think it out.
One life is not enough to learn – not even to learn what we don’t know or still need to learn, but if we build each other up with what we have learned, – we can make a better dent in the whole affair.
Why do we as humans persist in believing that power can only be grown if it is taken from others?
It’s just not true – light is more powerful as it is multiplied, energy is more powerful as it is amplified, strength comes from adding muscle – everything we know tells us that we must “add to” in order to gain.
But still we insist on reducing the power of others in order to feel more powerful.
I am a mother – I am a teacher – I am a woman – I am educated enough to know I need more. As I think through my decision to become not just a teacher of English in other countries, but an aspiring change in the world of education, I am consistently reinforced by the amazing, near-cruel stories of bigotry and racism that are actually denying the children of our country an education that is effective in creating a desire to learn.
Though it creates an austere reflection that defies any way of making it sound better – I must recognize that I may do my all-out best to create something that does effectively create a desire to learn in children, but that I will only be able to make as much progress as the general population can stop taking power away from children.
Throughout time, from Aristotle to Skinner, we are warned that we need to educate our children or face certain calamity. History tells us that those in power keep the masses only educated enough to make the people feel as though they are making informed decisions, but uneducated enough to not know what’s really driving the decisions.
Those in power propagate the idea that education is not that important and make it too expensive for the larger underclass. Why? Because educated constituents will have more opinions, look more closely, and expect comparable treatment. I may be putting myself into a world of chaos by choosing this path.
Am I going to create real change or do I have my head in clouds that they don’t belong in? I feel it’s right. I feel so powerfully motivated to get out there and research the hell out of teaching, learning, and creating desire to learn. I worry that I’m going to get out there and find nothing better than what I just got at UNM. I don’t believe that is true, but I worry about it. (No slam against UNM intended, merely noting that it’s the only education on being a teacher that I have, so far).
At work today I have met 6 different families from 6 different countries. As I generically chat with them we discuss why they are visiting Albuquerque, what they do back home, and what they plan to do with their lives. It’s a small, highly packed store. That gives them tons of browsing to do, all in conversation keeping locations. When I told them I am going to teach out-of-country they have been excited and each asked if I was going to teach English when I get back home.
Of course, yes, it’s even the reason I am going to teach out of country. I want to find a way to teach our many English Language Learners more effectively. Then I get wonderful stories about their experiences in learning English, but then the same – “I’m glad I didn’t have to learn it in the US.”
We can’t keep taking away the power of our children. No matter what language they speak as a baby, no matter what culture they are raised in at home, if their home is in the US, we need to allow them to keep their power as humans, not strip them of dignity, not enslave them through racism, not keep them in a state of without through social propaganda, and certainly not deny them education. They are kids, children. We become stronger as we educate ALL of our children.
What do you think?