After my regular classes today, I drove over to the rehab where I teach on Saturdays, and got to tell another one of my students that he passed his test and now has an equivalent diploma. He not only passed, but blew it out of the water.
I like handing over that piece of paper, especially to my recovering addicts/alcoholics, because it is physical proof that they aren't dumb, stupid, or losers--none of my students are--and it's all because THEY wanted it and put effort into learning. I can't force anyone to learn what I teach or use the books and websites I have for them.
I love it when they realize, "I want this for ME", because then they get excited about learning.
Life is about learning one thing after another to become the best version of "you" possible and once these "forgotten by everyone" students discover this, their world changes, which changes the lives of their children... THAT is how you fix education... reach the adults who never finished school, and show them the light. Until all parents everywhere value a high school diploma, no laws, no "purchased" software, no rules, no tests... no teacher... will ever make a difference.
Gov Brian Sandoval Office, you want to fix Nevada's schools, then help my school #AdultEd get to the parents, help teachers like me reach the adults who are already left behind... you want a better economy, then give my school the resources to train And educate, because my students are Nevada's today who are raising Nevada's future.
15 years from now, which will a first grader remember more, new "programs" and "laws" or that mom/dad went to a public school (for free) and earned a diploma that got a better job, and thereby a better life for that first grader? Now imagine that first grader seeing mom/dad getting trained at that same (free public) school in a partnership with CSN, or local trades, or businesses, or Magnet/CTAs and got an even better job... what will that first grader remember more? How much more important will doing well in school and graduating become if someone shows him that his mother/father was valued?
*mic drop, off soapbox*