Why study

A truly moving exhortation

Often I tell my students to be diligent in their studies and to take advantage of this great opportunity they have to study because it is one of the best ways to succeed in life. I tell you that the future is built day by day with the decisions we make and the actions we take. Triumph is not chance; it is causality. It is the result of a lot of work accumulated over time, aimed at achieving our goals. I tell you that your current education is the foundation on which you will build your future opportunities for education, employment, and economic prosperity

Possibly I do it as I remember the words of my father who always insisted on the need to study to be able to get ahead. Dad always insisted that the best legacy a father can leave to his children is education. My experience in life has shown me the wisdom of his words.

Of all my classmates in elementary school, only a few finished our professional education, possibly less than 10%. When I meet with friends and colleagues of those years, I see the enormous economic difference and even health of those who studied for a career and those who did not.

Long ago in a meeting with parents and their children, I commented that many students did not do their homework, did not attend extra class tutoring and failed midterm exams not because of lack of ability, but because of the lack of discipline and perseverance required by their studies. They spent more time chatting or social networking or going out on dates, than studying. I commented that many of the students think that the main reason for attending school is to socialize and play on sports teams. In some cases, they only cared about passing their subjects so that they could play.

A mom stopped and asked to speak. He told his daughter and classmates the following:

“Not so long ago I was sitting like you, without any concern. By not putting interest in my studies I left the school without completing anything. I want to tell you that it is the biggest mistake I have ever made in life and that I regret every day. Referring to her daughter, she said: When I left school I got pregnant, and since you were born, I had to work, and I have not stopped doing it ever since. She exposed her arms and showed us all many small burns. I’m working on burgers and tacos, she said, I’m standing in front of the grill every day for more than 8 hours, without having a minute to sit down, I often burn my arms because a lot of small incidents happen in a commercial kitchen. My legs are varicose due to many hours standing at work. My salary has hardly increased in years, and I have very few satisfactions. But I repeat to myself: it’s worth it because my children have food and home and the opportunity to study.

Do not make my mistakes she told her daughter, study, study for a career and succeed; it is very difficult to earn a living if you do not have preparation.”

We were all silent, our eyes tearful at the honest and touching testimony of a mother, who for the first time commented on the daily sacrifice she made to get her children ahead.

I share this experience because many times we do not know the great sacrifice that parents make so that you can study and have an opportunity to overcome.

Dare to dream and when you do, dream big

The theory of self-fulfilled prophecy says that when we have a firm belief about ourselves, it ends up being fulfilled.

This was said by Henry Ford many years ago, in a phrase that is famous, that in a nutshell explains the reason behind the triumph or failure of many people:

“Whether you think you can, or if you think you can not, in both cases you’re right” …

This holds a very great truth, psychologists have proven it with multiple experiments and call it the theory of self-fulfilled prophecy.

If a student believes that they are bad at their studies, they do not put their commitment into school, they frequently fail, lower their self-esteem, conform to low grades, do not participate in class, do not ask questions because they think they will not understand. They are assigned the label of mediocre, playful, or chatterbox and soon will be seen as such by their classmates and their teachers. The child tends to behave according to the expectation they have of him. (The Rosenthal and Jacobson experiment in 1966 is well known) and is known as the Pygmalion effect or self-fulfilling prophecy.

All of us who have been teachers for a long time have seen how important a student’s self-motivation is for their success in school and life. Behind winning students, there are usually parents, grandparents and family members who believed in them and encouraged them to persevere when they had a problem. How often teachers make the big mistake of highlighting faults and ignoring the qualities and effort of our students.

Similarly, many times parents are responsible for the low self-esteem of their children. If they say to him every day; you are a loser, you are useless at everything, you are not like your older brother who is intelligent and responsible or some other derogatory phrase, and they only see the defects and do not publicly acknowledge his qualities, they are condemning this son to failure in life.

The emotional support that parents and teachers give their children is very important.

If you want to succeed in life commit yourself to doing so, take advantage of this great opportunity you have at this time to study and show the world how much you are worth, the great potential you have to face any challenge and overcome it.

If you do not stop yourself, no one else can do it. Dare to succeed.

Selfish parents

In past times we have talked about mothers who sacrifice everything so that their children can study.

Now I want to tell you that in my experience as a teacher, I have also had the opposite case that is dealing with parents who are in a way selfish, because they do not care so much about their children’s education, but that at this moment they will help you solve immediate problems.

Many times as a teacher I have found that parents of problem children do not care much about the academic performance of their children. Possibly thinking that they already have enough problems in their life and their work, so that they have to alter their daily routine because of the school problems of their children.

Generally all the students that I receive, arrive with shortages and deficiencies of previous years and for many years I have offered extra tutorials to them, free of charge and with no other purpose than to help them to prepare better in the subjects that I teach.

There are parents who thanks us and appreciate the fact that teachers are better preparing their children so they can take advantage of the future opportunities that life will give them. On the other hand, there are parents who see this as negative because their older children often take care of the younger siblings while the parents spend that time on other activities.

I’ll tell you about a problem I had years ago with a mother. Her daughter really came very ill prepared, although she was very capable. Very often I asked her to spend additional time in her studies, and she would tell me again and again that she could not do it. I called home and asked her mother to allow her to stay in extra class sessions. She was upset with me and told me that I had no right to occupy that time of her daughter, who already took away much time by forcing her to go to class. I insisted, “If your daughter does not prepare, she will not be able to finish her studies well, and she will soon drop out of school.” The mother’s response baffled me: “Do not focus on what you do not care about. It would be very good for my daughter not to go to school to take care of her brothers, and I could rest a little longer.

All parents are human beings, and as such we are not perfect. We all have defects and virtues; we have a mixture of selfishness, ignorance, improvisation, indifference and prejudices that affect our judgment and actions. Some children have to bear the memory of some erroneous paternal actions for the rest of their lives, which left them with resentments, traumas, grudges, fears, anguish and sadness.

There is a well-known psychological technique called “forgiveness therapy,” which psychologists use to erase the resentments their patients have toward other people. Sadly sometimes it is to their own parents, even deceased, to whom people have resentments. Let’s take care as parents not to make that mistake.

When you are parents always think about the welfare of your children. Everything you say and do, positive or negative, will really be your legacy to them.

“Anyone can have a child and call themselves a parent. A real parent is someone who puts that child above their own selfish needs and wants.”       Anonymous

Student Survey

Dear students

Please respond to the following survey, to have all the data required for the correct operation of our learning management system.

This system will allow your parents and myself  to track your progress, monitor your participation and assess your performance in math. We will have real time results about all your math activities.

Thank you for participating.

Mrs. Garcia

Student of the Month JANUARY

Natalie Tristan 

Natalie is a very hard worker and is able to grasp math concepts very quickly.  She does an excellent job coming to class prepared and is always willing to share her ideas with the rest of the class. She is encouraged to keep up the good work!”

She is a pleasure to have in class!”-Mrs. Garcia

An exemplary teacher

My students usually ask what my profession is. The usual answer, which is what I identify with the most, is “engineer as profession and teacher by vocation.” If there is something that I really enjoy in life it is in helping children discover the enormous potential that they have, and become successful students and in the long run outstanding professionals.

Many times I have felt tenderly when some of my students, whom other people and even themselves told them that they were going to fail in school, tell me how they have changed and when they grow up they also want to be teachers to transform lives.

When the children ask me who my favorite teacher was, I usually talk about some of the unforgettable teachers that really marked my existence when I was a child. This is understandable since childhood is the stage at which teachers can more easily influence the training of their students

Today I want to tell you about another exemplary teacher who has impacted my life as an adult, who has been given a well-deserved recognition for her dedication to training teachers with a deep awareness of Social Justice. I am referring to Dr. Maria D. Viloria, my teacher in postgraduate courses at TAMIU.

I remember when I was going to take her course, I quickly read the syllabus and did not see it as particularly interesting. But when she started the class and began to talk about it being precisely us, the teachers, who can and should help combat inequality and social exclusion; that we must promote equal opportunities for the most disadvantaged social sectors, seek equity through education, promote respect for human rights and non-discrimination.

Dr. Viloria stressed to us that the main role of the teacher is to be a transforming element of society and recommended some readings from other really exemplary teachers, such as Sonia Nieto. Her class really became my favorite subject, and I began to eagerly buy books on that subject, which I really love.

From the trenches of the classroom, I share with my students this pleasant academic experience and I want to send a warm congratulation to my dear teacher, Dr. Maria D. Viloria, for this just recognition she has received.

Dr. Maria D. Viloria, assistant professor, TAMIU College of Education, received the Instructional Technology Excellence Award from the TAMIU Office of Institutional Technology.

Teacher of the Year Nominee – Professional Programs – 2017