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

If you continue like this, how do you see yourself in 10 years?

This is a question that I often ask my students, especially those who have ongoing school problems, poor grades, violent attitudes, antisocial behavior, and frequent conflicts with their teachers, peers, and even parents.

The sad reality is that childhood ends very quickly; Before we think about it, we stop being children, we become teenagers and soon adults; with a family to maintain and the responsibility to guide and educate our own children.

Statistics show that when a student has academic and behavioral problems he hardly ever finishes his studies. On the contrary, he is rejected from the educational system even before completing High School.

Many problem students start being punished in “in-school suspension”, then sent to a problem student’s school like Lara Academy, and finally a juvenile detention center. This is the most direct route to jail. The vast majority of young people who are incarcerated are of black or Latino origin, and in their background, they have been conflicted students. Many parents and teachers forget that when a child behaves badly, it is because they feel bad. If we had this in mind, perhaps we could be more empathetic and understanding when a child with serious and recurring behavioral problems is in our family or in our classroom.

Many studies confirm that giving a student a suspension does more harm than good, accentuates behavioral problems, and leads to academic failure. Apparently, our government does not have the money to guide and rescue children who have problems, but to keep them in prison institutions. They even speak of a national trend and call it: School-to-prison pipeline,” in which at the national level, students who are expelled from public schools fall directly into the criminal justice system.

How many of our students seek to bypass classes and their academic responsibilities, starting by skipping classes, thinking that punishing with “in-school suspension” is like having a vacation, a reward for their indiscipline and misbehavior. They do not realize the serious problem that their rebel, violent and antisocial behavior in school, in a few years will no longer be considered a prank, if not a crime. The first steps of a direct path to a correctional facility and then jail.
You can change, your future depends on what you do today. You have to make a conscious decision to change for the wellbeing of you and your family.  If in the past, you have made these mistakes, leave them behind, don’t let them recur. Only you can change your life, no one else can do it for you. If you really want to achieve what you dreamed, start today.

“Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error”        

Marcus Tullius Cicero

The story of Aldo

In days gone by, sadly I learned that a child at our school was caught up in drugs. This is one of the great concerns that we have as parents and teachers because we know the huge risk involved in drug addiction and its dire consequences to those who consume them.
Regrettably, modern society regards to drug use as normal and instead of combating it with awareness campaigns at all levels, we see with sadness, that in some states it is being legalized. However, I believe that schools should be a place where drugs are completely banned. Under no circumstances should they be tolerated.

Today I want to share with you the story of Aldo. I met him when I finished my studies; he was a Catholic priest who was very different from everyone I had met before. When we were going to confess to the priest, it was common to hear him say “who am I to judge you? I too have been a sinner, and my sins have been greater than yours. Yet God rescued me and so also wants to rescue you, so that you may bear fruits of His love and give them abundantly.” In Aldo we always had a friend and a counselor, at any time we could go to him, and we felt the peace and tranquility that is emanated.
Aldo said that the confession was not with the priest but with God and with those whom we had offended. When we wanted to do this, we could confess in small groups in the sacristy, in some very emotional sessions that we could now call group therapy. Everyone recognized their sins and asked for forgiveness publicly, offering sincerely, to remedy their sins and not to sin again.

Aldo was born in Nevada and at a very young age lost his parents, so he was a problem child during his adolescence and when he came of age, given that he had artistic inclinations, became a renowned dancer in Las Vegas. He told us that he had lived a life of excesses, women, drinks, drugs; And yet when he was alone and thinking he realized that his life was empty; that others cared only for what he could provide them and that personally he wanted luxury and personal pleasures and did not care what happens to the rest of the world.
One day he had a dental problem, and he went without an appointment to the dental office. While waiting he began to read the magazines in the waiting room; he found an article, a rare thing, of the life of St. Francis of Assisi. He commented that he can not stop reading it, and resulted in him going to buy a book to know more about his life. And at that moment he felt that like St Francis, he must totally renounce that life of hedonism and pleasures, and really be interested in others. He entered the seminary, and when he finished, he sought to officiate in a poor parish where his help was most needed.
Aldo told us “Get away from drugs, if you consume them they are surely sorrowful to God, who wants all that is good for you and the evil one rejoices. If you have already consumed them and want to leave them, seek the support of God who will always be at your side to return you to the right path. For him there is no impossible, for him, there is no sin that can not be forgiven, we are his children, and he does not want to lose us .

This same message I give to my students. Get away from drugs, avoid the company of other boys who consume them, seek the support of your parents and teachers, do not look for false shortcuts, really strive to be better in every way, seek to be better children, better brothers, better students, and I have the confidence that when they are adults they will have a full life, the recognition of the community and the affection of their loved ones.

Say no to drugs, say yes to life

Last week I was very sad to hear that a sixth-year child was caught smoking drugs in the school bathrooms. The next day I learned of an eighth-grader who offered drugs to his classmates. This news worried me a lot, and I had no sleep. Over and over again I wondered to myself, what can I do? What should I do?

Many times, I have seen that some students destroy their lives, their studies, their personal and family relations, as well as any possibility of future success because they fall into the trap of drugs.

Ten years ago, I retired as a teacher of higher education and started teaching math at the middle school level. In the first year, I learned of a similar drug case, and I went to the school authorities to ask what we would do. The answer surprised me: “That’s society, there’s nothing we can do”: I totally disagreed with it. When authority is defeated and does not want to intervene, minimizing and in some cases hiding incidents of this type, it will only aggravate the problem.

Society has placed in the teachers and school authorities the great responsibility of cultivating and caring for the most valuable treasure of all the families and of the nation, this is its young people. We can not turn a blind eye to these problems and ignore them. On the contrary, we should alert parents and raise awareness among young people of the serious dangers of drug addiction. To deny the existence of a problem or to pretend that it does not exist does not solve it; but on the contrary, aggravates it. It is a task for all adults to protect with all our strength, with all our heart, with a clear and determined strategy that protects our students from this serious problem.

If a friend offers you drugs he is not a friend, a good friend does not endanger your life and your future.

Take advantage of this great educational opportunity you have today; your future and that of your family depend on what you do today. Do not make a mistake that you’ll regret all your life

Do you think having a drug addicted child is what your parents want when they send you to school?

And if you have already fallen into this problem, seek help. Lean on someone you can trust, a close relative, your teachers, school or spiritual counselors. I want to tell you that with will, determination, and perseverance, other people have come out of drugs. There is a thought that I want to share:

“God changes caterpillars into butterflies, sand into pearls and coal into diamonds by using time and pressure. He is working on you too” Rick Warren.

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