A special thank you to all of the teachers who served as guest bloggers and shared insight into the relevance of their courses in students’ lives. My blog will conclude this series by focusing on not just a course or content area but on education in general.
Recently, I met with Hispanic students, parents and community leaders to gather feedback on the work we do as a school system. They shared what they valued and appreciated, and they offered excellent suggestions for improvements and additional supports. They also shared their personal stories, which touched my heart and inspired this blog.
What makes people leave their home, their family, and everything they know to immigrate to a new country where the language and culture are very different? Repeatedly in my conversation with the Hispanic parents, it was securing a better life for their children. Parents wanted their children to have educational opportunities so they could pursue careers and build a strong future. They were seeking the "American dream."
Listening to the parents but, more importantly, listening to our Hispanic students, who either immigrated with their families or came here alone, I learned that the desire to be educated was paramount. I heard students talk about aspirations to become a doctor, nurse, architect, or to just go to college. They were so appreciative of attending school until 12th grade and were eager to attend college.
The compelling "why" for these families was recognizing that education was the game changer for their future. Having lived in countries where public education was not guaranteed and job choices were limited, they sacrificed whatever it took for the promise of public education and a future of hope.
Education is a gift that you carry with you for life. It expands a person’s choices for career and lifestyle. The gift of education is what the parents I talked with wanted most for their children. That gift would ensure a future for their children that was not possible in their native country.
Becoming educated. Opening possibilities. Building a future. The most important compelling "why" is recognizing the power of education in a person’s life. In our country, it is a gift we should never take for granted.