One of my favorite lessons involves The Prestige. It’s the perfect visual delight that prompts student discussion about the concepts of fiction. You know, protagonists, antagonists, and so on.
The film has extremely interesting protagonists, compelling plot twists, mystery, suspense, and a climax that begs you to watch the film again. If you haven’t seen The Prestige, watch it, and add it to your edu-repetoire.
I recently had a conversation with a peer about the “achievement gap” and what it means to close it. I’m not eager to jump into these types of conversations because they only lead to frustration or war.
I told my colleague, “We should create more standards. Change the standards every four years and test our students more often. This will definitely close the achievement gap.”
Make this the year of fear.
Work until its working.
The strongest part of your brain, fear.
Face the monster.
The largest nonprofit organization in many under-served communities is the local public school system. It is designed to improve the economy, alleviate poverty, and assist with public health. Though, many times, public schools are representative of the problem not solution for most communities in need.
In these same communities, we find after-school programs, community-centers, and churches that offer to help with the issues that many under-served communities face, yet the issue of poverty, a symptom of greater economic and social ills, continues to be a growing problem.
This isn’t an indictment of single-mothers, absentee-fathers, or failed systems. This is a call to advocates who work after-school instead of during school hours.
I started teaching to deepen the impact of my activism. I tossed my excuses aside and changed my lifestyle to suit the demands of working on the front lines helping a community in need. Each day, I work with the motherless, the fatherless, the victimized, the over-privileged, the under-privileged, the homeless, and those that just need a good role model.
The public school isn’t the source of every problem in under-served communities nor is it the sole answer. There are a complex set of factors that serve to create economic and social issues. There are a complex set of factors that can alleviate economic and social issues. Passionate, driven, fearless individuals in education are a part of the solution.