(First Published on March 2018)
One of the biggest problems of our modern schools is the fact that many of our students believe they are doomed to failure. Our students face great pressures daily. Again and again, they receive negative messages from family, teachers, and classmates. They see that other children have everything, and they feel that they have practically nothing.
The main challenge teachers face now is convincing their students that if they want it, they can succeed, not only in school but also in life. Teachers usually have little control over the message that students will receive from others, but we have control of the message they receive from us, and the message must be very clear, a message of high expectations. The message is simple: “You can succeed if you persevere.” We have to capture their minds and hearts and show them with facts that they can succeed. This is not simple. It requires a lot of work; it takes a lot of effort; it requires putting the heart into learning and teaching. But the reward is huge for them, and it is evident.
I am a teacher with more than 25 years of teaching experience, and I have trained hundreds of winners. I was a teacher at the college level in Mexico for more than 15 years with excellent results. I often meet alumni who are directors of companies, owners of companies, employees in high positions who thank me mainly for having imbued them with confidence, that if they persevere and never consider themselves defeated, they will succeed.
I also have two master’s degrees here in the United States, and some time ago I received an invitation to incorporate me as a university-level teacher because they know the excellent results I had in higher education in Mexico. On that occasion, I did not accept that offer, but I chose to be a teacher at middle school (with less salary and more hours of work) because I think we have to influence the students from a young age. I have several academic blogs that are visited by hundreds of thousands of people a year from dozens of countries, and I have the great satisfaction of collaborating, even if only a little, in the education of all of them.
Year after year, my students occupy the highest places in the school, in the school district, and frequently in the state. Please see the following chart that corresponds to last year. It was the result of an experiment in which several teachers who work with Mr. Quesada and Mr. Alonzo, who worked together with me, had the common goal of raising the educational level of our students. We teach our students first in the sixth grade and then the seventh grade so that they know our rhythm and way of working. The results are extraordinary, as the graph shows:
We had three students with a perfect grade in math, and it would have been more than a dozen if not for the fact that some of them do not have a good command of English since they are ESL students (English as a Second Language), and they did not understand the meaning of some words that came in the exam. Many ESL students no only passed but obtained outstanding grades.
We can summarize this in a sentence:
Yes, you can!
In this school year, I am looking to support ESL teachers precisely so that together we better prepare all students who really want to succeed.
Having excelled so much has caused envy, criticism, and low blows from other schoolmates. For all of them, my message is very simple and direct: “You can do it too, but it takes time, effort, and dedication.” You need to convince students to work overtime to fill in the gaps they have in their academic preparation and dare to succeed. And you also need to work overtime!
For all the students the formula is very simple: “If you want to succeed, work hard and persevere until you succeed.” ” And you also need to work overtime!”
For all the students the formula is very simple: “If you want to succeed, work hard and persevere until you succeed”.
“Life rewards efforts, not pretexts” Anonymous
“A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed an irremediable failure would turn into glorious success.” – Elbert Hubbard
If you want to change your future, you must build it with the daily effort, always striving to be better, and not let yourself be defeated by the setbacks that will surely arise along the way.
The students this school year supposedly are the best I have had during my entire stay at this school. And it is curious that being the best, more than 30% of them did not even know the times–tables or how to perform basic arithmetic operations, so these first weeks have been fully dedicated to filling gaps in their education until their knowledge of the basis in math is solid and definitive. With great satisfaction, I can tell you that you are making outstanding progress and that you are very different in knowledge and behavior compared with the students that I had at the beginning of the school year.
Students from previous years have also excelled in their final grade, always among the best places in the school and the district. Although in the previous years the school administration repeatedly sent me many of the students with great academic and behavioral deficiencies. So almost year after year I have protested to the administration that the distribution is unfair, and mainly asking the administration to send me students who really want to put their effort to succeed. Here is an example:
Let’s work together to make our students overcome all their limitations and succeed in their lives!
Dear teachers, allow me to recommend a book that tells many success stories and that we can easily incorporate into our teaching practice.