Today we commemorate the day of Dr. Martin Luther King and his struggle for the equality of all human beings. One of his most famous speeches “I HAVE A DREAM” refers to equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, skin color or economic status.
Today our country is very different from what it was 50 years ago, when Dr. Luther King delivered this speech, precisely because he dared to dream and to express his ideas of freedom and justice for all. His struggle cost him his life but also transformed this nation.
I challenge you to also dare to dream. The childhood lasts a few years and before what you expect you will no longer be in school but working for your sustenance and that of your family. Dream of what you want to achieve for you and your children. Do not put limits to your dreams. Dare to dream big!
Success is intimately related to the decisions and actions that you make every day.
The foundations of future successes are built today, mainly at school, with these small daily actions, such as dedication to study and all the academic activities assigned to you by your teachers.
Reaching a dream requires effort, dedication and perseverance. Many times, there are obstacles in the road, but we must not be defeated when we have a setback, we must always get up, learn from experience and put more effort to demonstrate everything we are capable of.
Write down your dreams with everything you want to achieve in life, set goals, develop an action plan to achieve them and persevere until you reach them.
If you dream it, believe it, and work hard for it you can achieve it.
The Early College High School provides students the opportunity to receive a high school diploma and two years of college credit (or an Associate degree), free. (The tuition of two years at college worth more than $28,000) Early college students are outperforming their peers nationwide, 90% graduate high school vs. 78% of students nationally; 94% earn free college credit while in high school.
Many of my former students could realize their dreams through the LISD Early College. You can also achieve the success you deserve.
Laredo Early College High School – Where dreams are ignited by the flames of knowledge.
Everyone faces roadblocks on the way to college. Watch videos of students who stayed focused and made it.
1 Understanding the problem
- What are you asked to find?
- What information do you have?
- What do you need to find out? (the unknows)
2 Devising a plan
- How to use given data to find missing data?
- Decide what steps you need to take to solve the problem
- Write an equation
3 Execute the plan
- Use your mathematical tools
- Check each step of the plan as you proceed.
4 Check your answer
- Did you answer the questions asked?
- Does your answer makes sense ? Why?
- Substitution (Check the solution in the original equation to catch errors)
- Can you solve it another way?
(George Polya, 1945)
Diana went shopping at a department store. She bought a bottle of shampoo for $3, one hair brush for $6, and a bottle of nail polish for $4. When she paid for her purchases, the cashier gave her $7 in change. How much money did she give the cashier?
We know that she spend: 3 + 6 + 4 (13 dollars)
The cashier gave her $7 in change
We need to find X, the total amount she give the cashier
X – (3 + 6 + 4) = 7
X – 13 = 7
X = 7 + 13
X = 20
20 – (3 + 6 + 4) = 20 – 13 = 7 OK
Santa Letter from First Grader Will Make You Rethink What You Take for Granted
I want to share with you a letter to Santa Claus, written by a first-year girl who tells Santa that she has behaved well and asked for food, a ball and a blanket.
The message of the 7-year-old girl, Crystal Pacheco, is going to our hearts and makes us reflect that many people lack even the most indispensable.
Their teacher asked Pacheco, “Well, why do you need a blanket more than the food?’’ to which she responded, ‘Well, I get to eat at school—sometimes I may not have at home, but I get to eat at school. A blanket I have one, but it’s not warm enough.”
All of us must support the neediest.
It should also make us reflect on what the best opportunity we have to fight poverty is precisely in schools.
Frequently I ask you to take advantage of this great opportunity that you have at this moment and prepare yourself as best as possible to face life so that the future of you and your children is the best possible.
The future depends on what you do today. – Mahatma Gandhi.
I want to share with you a story that I liked very much in my childhood.
by Oscar Wilde.
Give up on your frustration but never on your hopes.
Give up thinking about your setbacks but never on your goals.
Give up worrying about your past but never on your future.
I would like to wish all my students and their families a very Merry Christmas, filled with plenty of warmth, love and happiness, and a prosperous New Year! May the magic of Christmas fill you with peace, joy and inspiration.
When I was a child, in elementary school I had very good teachers of spelling and grammar, but not mathematics.
In middle school, the math teacher had a complicated pregnancy and because of that was often missing, and so many of the class hours were spent playing basketball.
I did not feel competent in math and thought that I would never find a career.
I was fortunate to find a teacher of Spanish origin, the engineer Ramayo, who believed in me and told me something no one had ever told me, that I was very competent in mathematics and could achieve what I aimed for in life.
Thanks to his motivation, I studied engineering and excelled in my studies, completed two master’s degrees, directed research groups in the oil industry and have run my own companies, I have generated several patents in the energy sector, I have been a university professor for more than 20 years, and now I have been a teacher in secondary education for eleven years.
In my teaching experience, I have realized the importance of believing in students, and the relevance of making them see that they can achieve everything they set out to do.
In psychology, this phenomenon has been studied (the experiment of Rosenthal and Jacobson in 1966 is well known) and is known as the Pygmalion effect, or of self-fulfilling prophecy.
If parents and teachers have confidence in the child and they convince him that he can succeed in life and emphasize what he can achieve; the child will excel and succeed. But if on the contrary, they only emphasize their shortcomings and defects, by word or deed, they make them feel that they will fail, the child will not work, he will not be careful, and his school performance will be mediocre or badly plan.
There is a Henry Ford thought that sums up this: “So whether you believe you can or if you think you can not, in both cases you are right.”
It is something that I live on a daily basis. Students who are stars with me, who stand out a lot in my class, who obtain the highest degrees of academic excellence, are the same students who in previous years, had serious academic problems and even failed in mathematics, which is the subject that I teach. I mention a frequent case, students who failed the state test (STAAR) in the previous year, are often the commended performance, which all the teachers of the following year want to have.
Sometimes I talk to other teachers who teach the same students, and they say: “I do not tolerate so-and-so, very apathetic and disinterested, and their work is rather mediocre.” It is hard for them to believe, when I tell them, that in my subject they are bright and participative students, who stand out among their classmates and who are sure to succeed in whatever they propose.
The future is not casual but causal. We build it with our daily work, with determination and perseverance in achieving our goals. The difference between success or failure is in the decisions and actions you take daily, as well as the perseverance you apply to achieve your goals. Leave your comfort zone, and dare to succeed. Remember: If you keep doing the same actions, you will still get the same results. If you want to get different results, you will have to start by performing different actions.
Einstein put it this way: “the definition of stupidity is to do the same actions and expect different results“. Using another analogy, it would be like planting apple seeds and waiting to harvest oranges, sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?
If you propose it, the triumph will be in your hands. If you do not stop yourself, no one will stop you, and you will achieve everything that you propose.
For many years, I was the professor for numerous college students, and one year I had the pleasure of meeting a very bright and talented student, that was very motivated and engaged in the class. She often had the highest scores in the class and was always smiling. She even won a national academic competition, and I was her advisor.
Then suddenly she started missing classes, at first, the absences were rare and far in between, then they become more frequent until she stopped coming all together. I asked her friends to learn what was happening with her but they didn’t know either. They told me that she had grown apart a long time ago to be with her boyfriend, who had also stopped studying altogether.
After many years, I met her at a store in which she was working as a cashier. I greeted her warmly, embraced her and asked her about how is her life going?
She started crying, and told me:
“I made a grave mistake, I fell in love with a boy who was doing drugs. I thought that I would be able to change him, he always told me that he could stop using drugs whenever he wanted, that he had done it before and will do so again. Then he incited me into using drugs, at first it was a sporadic occurrence and then they became everything for me. I stopped caring about my family, school, eating, my personal appearance, or my faith. Drugs wrecked my life and my mental and physical health. This is why I stopped studying. When the money ran out, he pressured me into prostituting myself. With that money, we bought drugs for the two of us. Then he started dealing drugs, until one day he never returned. I was told that he had been killed.
Soon after I realized that I was pregnant, and it was then that I decided to stop using drugs.
It was very difficult, and the anguish and despair that I felt are impossible to put into words. I sought help from my church and other support groups, and I was lucky to found someone who understood what I was going on and that help me to overcome it.
I spent some time working as a maid, washing clothes and taking care of the elderly. Now, I am working as a cashier earning minimum wage and barely having enough to eat, clothing, medicines and other essential needs for my son.
All my peers from college are already working on their careers and completed their degrees. I am ashamed of them seeing me working as a cashier, and I regret not completing my education.
Please tell your students to be very careful of the people they bring into their lives. A bad company may stray them from their path, and ruin their lives as it happened to me. My son is the one who saved me if it was not for him I would probably be doing all sorts of things to get some drugs. I am going to take good care of him, give him advice, and be ever vigilant to help him succeed in life.”
Then we said our goodbyes with tears in our eyes, and since then every time that I see some of my students with others that may be bad company, I worry for them, and talk to them from the bottom of my heart trying to advise them, to keep them from falling into a trap, one which is almost impossible to overcome when being dragged by a bad friend that only wants to see them fail.
This is why I worry for all of you, I have seen many students that start well striving to succeed in school and then they get lost when they meet other students that have behavioral problems and are defiant of authority. They start missing their classes, not doing their homework and getting into trouble themselves. I pray for you every night, and I ask God to protect you, to enlighten you to choose well, and for us as teachers and administrators to give us the wisdom to protect you from bad influences and to help you all to be successful in your life.