I’m at a time in life where I must decide about my future. Throughout my entire life, no one has helped me. Not Teachers, not my Mother although she had some strong mental/emotional issues, not the local employment centers I went to after I left the military. I am deciding to attend community college I want to go into engineering. Getting to this point in my life, has been enormously arduous, took a lot of looking inward which isn’t easy when all you’ve been told was “your stupid” or worse your being totally disregarded like you don’t even matter. Oh yes! And its not just me, it happens I’ll bet every single day at public schools across the country. There is a definite bias of kids who do real well & ones that are struggling and I was in the latter of the group. When I went to school the Teachers were at times abusive, played favorites with certain students with impunity, and would seem just bored with even their jobs. I would often think to myself “Hey idiot teacher why bother in the first place”? But when your a lowly student you can’t talk to a Teacher like that. One student not that long ago did talk back on a Teachers lack of passion while she was teaching a history lesson if I had to surmise the teacher in question probably taught the lesson with such indifference she might have put some of her students to sleep, I’ve seen that happen when I attend school. I don’t remember the city where it took place. I had read this on Yahoo & one of the students who is a young male with long hair took a stand while another student recorded the moment on their iPhone. The video went viral & you can see it …were else? YouTube of course! But I slightly digress. Former President Bush had passed a bill when he was in office called the No Child Left Behind Act. Now I’m a Democrat, I don’t care much for President Bush, but you know what? That was the one & only thing I did like about him was this bill. At least the former President was paying some attention about the serious plight of the American public school system & its children who for the most part come from poor & often times abusive family backgrounds. However, we must do more than only just insuring that no child is left behind , we must insure children ACTUALLY have an understanding of what they’re being taught before they can be promoted to the next grade. What isn’t acceptable is total apathy from our Teachers , indifference shown to the children in the classroom, cheating students out of their constitutional right to a quality education . Kids require so much more because what will happen once they get out into the real World? Children need guidance althroughout their school years! Didn’t happen for me I’ll say that! I came from severe abuse so guess what? That same scared young girl was severely withdrawn who was even too afraid most times to even speak up & participate in the classroom. I developed severe depression so much so I completely lost interest, lost hope of ever being anyone in life add to that a learning disability which labeled me stupid, and I thought I actually was because when I went to school no one knew of leaning disability you were either smart, average, or dumb. I had already witnessed severe violence, I was often beaten with various items all throughout the childhood that by the time I reached Middle & High Schools I would wish that I ceased to live on the Earth I was by then damaged goods thinking that I was no good for anything! And that ladies & gentlemen was what put the lid on my coffin so to speak on getting a quality education. That & a LACK of some sort of an intervention to help pull me out of a pit of despair to a level where I could be pulling down some good grades. Back when I was attending High School in the 70’s the school administrators didn’t seem too keen on actually getting to know a good majority of the students although some got special attention like the jocks, cheerleaders, the brainiacs, and the more outgoing types. I wasn’t in any of those categories. The High School principal who would stand outside of her office between getting to classes wouldn’t even speak to any of the passing students. Even as young as I was I could sense an aloofness about her.
I only just barely graduated by the skin of my teeth back when the school district was so extremely lax! Pretty sad indeed! Imagine getting cheated out of a quality education that should be afforded to EVERYONE! Sure did happen to me. It was bad for me.
As a teen I shared a home with an unstable Mother who when she wasn’t screaming or cursing at me, would come home from work, fix herself a bowl of cereal then go right up to her bedroom where she would stay the rest of the night. I had no idea what was going on with her. I was 16 and we had just moved into a new house.
After I graduated High School I did enlist in the Army…and it was a horrible enlistment I’ll post on another blog in the near future. After my enlistment I bounced around from job to job to job. The low self esteem following me around wherever I went. No one helped or encouraged me, in fact I was put to shame by everyone because of my own life not being ON TRACK! The majority of people whom I knew expected me to just “KNOW” how to get my act together. I got very little empathy there. I mean, everyone has a different life’s journey so it stands to reason that some of us are not at the same place in life like we’d like to be. What is wrong with certain people that this philosophy is just not understood? I am struggling so stop with all the judgemental treatment will you! How about some encouragement PLEASE! That’s all I ask. Please stop with all the contempt & the looking down your nose at me. Please!
It has been such a tremendous & painful road for me. I didn’t even realize that I had mental disorders I went undiagnosed throughout most of my life! Why? well when no one pays you any attention how would you know? I went through life totally invisible everyone! I wasn’t diagnosed until many years later through the Dept of Social & health services. And that led to a some more years of trying to get properly diagnosed by more doctors, taking tests, trying to find therapy which by the way everyone is like trying to find the needle in a haystack my experiances at times were really humiliating!
But what I’m trying to say is without a really good educational foundation? Your going to be LOST in a World that doesn’t care whether you’ve obtained a substandard education You’ll enter a World that will chew you up!
In memory of Jaime Escalante. Mr Escalante taught for several years at Garfield High School East Los Angeles California a predominantly working class Hispanic area. He led the charge determined to teach those students math skills leading all the way to Calculus with the majority taking the Calculus AP exam. These students were considered unreachable even illiterate by some of the schools administration. These kids came from backgrounds with barriers as most were poor, lived in high crime areas, or single parent homes. How I wished I had a teacher like him when I was in school. He taught from 1970’s through 2001. A movie is based on him called “Stand & Deliver” . Teachers you need to follow Mr Escalantes example! That man is a rarity in the public school system.
Great teachers like Mr. Escalante can make all the difference in a young persons life.