As many know, I have poured myself into the purpose of trying to do something to help fix this problem in education. It has come at some personal expense and sacrifice (this has been hard)…but when I turn around and see that in a 24 hour period one of my blog posts has over 1,000 people reading it, I know I’m addressing the concerns that people outside of education also carry.
The opposition I’ve received has only fueled my motivation, yet, ironically, some of the shows of support I’ve received have left me dead in my tracks, crushed with humility and gratitude.
And strangely enough, while I have mentioned none of this to my current students, there’s been a powerful impact in my own classroom. Those kids are killing it. While the on-level (non-honors) freshmen this year have been well below the norm, we have a new saying, we’re going to Flip It. The past few years my freshman have done well at the beginning, but could not maintain and struggled as the year went on. This group is all about flipping that around, finishing strong, showing the world that what they really are is more than what they’ve done so far.
A freshman, 16 years old, held back sometime in elementary, passed his test today with a 71%. I pulled him aside and showed him. He’s a big boy, 6 feet and 200 pounds at least, and he let out a huge breath and had to wipe his eyes. He’d never really tried before and felt a massive weight lifted off his shoulders because he discovered he was capable.
That’s why I am crushed by the shows of support. That’s why this is important.
It’s not about teachers, it’s not about money. But without paying quality teachers, who need money to live, it won’t be for the students either.