Thursday, November 06, 2008

From a Former Schoolteacher in Detroit

Student Reading in Detroit

This is from an email from a recently retired school teacher friend:

Most of you know that for 32 years I taught History and Government in the Detroit Public Schools.
My students would often ask me why they had to learn all this stuff, and why I constantly pushed them to read and write more, and why my grading standards were so much tougher than some of the other Social Studies

My answer was usually, "I don't know what job you will have someday, I don't
know what knowledge you will need to succeed in life, you might end up
flipping burgers at McDonald's, or you might be President of the United
States. I don't know what you might need to learn or what you will do for a
living, but I'm not going to take any chances, I'll just assume I'm training
you all for the top job."
The next question was always this, in every class, every semester, every
year I taught: "Mr. C****, do you really think an African-American is ever
going to be elected President?"
I always answered, "Maybe not in my lifetime, but certainly in yours."


Randy Johnson said...

That man sounds like the kind of teacher this country doesn't have enough of these days.
I remember my social studies teacher my senior year in high school. That year i only needed one English credit to graduate, but you had to have a minimum of three credits. Social Studies was one I chose(typing was the other), all three bunched in the morning so I could leave and go to my afternoon job.
As Social Studies was the third class, I cut it, along with a friend, way to often and we went to work. Mrs Price, a tiny little black lady, always turned me in when I did, but never my friend.
I wasn't mad, but I did ask her why me and not him.
She told me, "You have a chance to do something with your life, he doesn't, and you shouldn't be skipping classes."
I never forgot that. As to whether I ever did anything with my own life, I'll leave that to others to judge.

pattinase (abbott) said...

A good teacher can change lives, 30 at a time.