lack of ability - poor can't do the work and feel stupid
lack of motivation - poor can't study way out of poverty
school is racist - not taught things important to poor's race
school is class-based - not taught things important to poor's class
schools are underfunded - don't have special programs to help the poor
urban schools don't attract talented teachers
rural schools don't attract talented teachers
other... (please describe)
It used to be funny if a student left my course because their parents were moving city or the student decided that their career goals had changed but when that affected my grading it stopped being funny. I even had one student die through breast cancer and I ended up filling a form explaining what I could (or should) have done to keep the student...
There are some amazing teachers out there breaking their backs to motivate all their kids but sometimes when a kid goes back home to a non-aspirational environment it makes no difference what the teachers are up to or how good they are (or not)
Last edited by Infinite Chaos; 05-02-10 at 05:53 PM.
"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"
Cicero Marcus Tullius
I came from humble beginnings and made it to a university education and a successful professional life. I credit my success to:
1. Concerned parents who encouraged and nurtured my capabilities
2. My own determination and hard work
3. Certain amazing teachers who loved their job and did it well
4. A socialist influenced education system that was free to all, including free university education
5. A system which allowed teachers professional autonomy without imposing over rigid curricula and targets upon them.
Impediments I overcame were:
1. Certain xenophobic and sexist assumptions on the part of some in the system.
2. Certain unimpassioned teachers who should have given up long ago.
I detest the "If I did it, so can anybody" mentality. Many people, especially in unfair societies like the US, just have too much stacked against them from the start. I worked hard but I was also lucky.
"C'est le dernier qui a parlé qui a raison"