Statistically, this should not be happening. As the son of two impoverished immigrants from Mexico, I should not be teaching English to four grade levels of village children in Yunnan Province. I should not be a college graduate and math major. I should not have even left my hometown of Houston, let alone move to rural China and know how to speak Chinese. But because of my family and teachers, all of this is happening. As I head into my second year as a Teach For China teacher, I'm more aware than ever of my own role to empower my ...


"Education didn't save Mike Brown. Racism killed him." In fact, education doesn't save children from preventable diseases in India. Education isn't saving people from being slaughtered in Syria. Education didn't save college students on Tiannenman Square. Racism, discrimination, hatred, fear killed them. What's allowing them to keep going on is apathy. Fortunately, good educators know all about taking a stand and doing something about it. After reading the latest news updates everyday on Ferguson, Israel and Syria, I find myself turning to Education Week and education blogs to be reinvigorated by the outpouring of lessons, resources and love from colleagues ...


At the end of my first year of teaching, I was given the option of repeating seventh grade English again with a group of new students or staying with my current class and teaching eighth grade. My current students are exceptionally lively and I know they will be even more of a challenge to manage in the coming year. While I was strongly tempted to start fresh with new students, I chose not to. The reality is I have failed the female students in my own class this year. In an effort to respect their independence, I've actually neglected them ...


I'm part of Teach For China, Teach For America and teach-for-anyone-out-there-who-deserves-it not only because I want all students to dream boldly like my father and my own students. I'm part of Teach For China and Teach For America because I want kids to know it is never too late. I'm proud of my former students like Matilda who refused to give up against all odds. They are the ones who keep me inspired by the work we do. But it's the students who I've lost track of, the ones who haven't walked across any stage--the students of mine--Elroy, Derrick, Shiloh-- ...


Less than 30 percent of poor rural students in China make it to high school. About 600,000 drop out each year. Only 5 percent make it to college. The statistics for girls are even worse. (Check out the average years students go to school in different countries) So it shouldn't make sense that my 18-year-old friend Selina and her parents are so anxious that she has graduated from high school with a decent college entrance score. It wouldn't make sense, except for the fact that her family lives in a small mountain village in Yunnan Province, farming their land ...


In 2012, Darryl Johnson moved to rural China as an English teacher expecting to be regarded as a teacher, friend and mentor. So when he was called "monkey", "darkie" and labeled pejoratively as "African", he was bitter and angry. He reflected that he would need to be so much more than a teacher during these two years. It would be so easy to sink into bitterness, fear and return to America. Instead, he would need to lead by example and to build relationships based on mutual respect with his students. He spent our first couple of classes discussing respect, cultural ...


Zach is 12 and labeled "dumb" in his village school in rural China. But seeing Zach give his absolute all on the CORE entrepreneurship project got first-year teacher Taylor Loeb thinking: Elementary school isn't about prepping kids for high school and college. At least, it shouldn't be. School is about giving kids the chance to discover a passion and belief in themselves. Some kids like math, some kids don't like math but do it because they know they have to. Some kids hate it, can't do it, and will never change their mind. That doesn't mean they can't be passionate ...


If we want to improve the quality of life in rural China, we must encourage our rural students to grow up and contribute back to their hometowns. Education should not be used as a means for students to escape their roots, but rather a pathway to reinvest in the communities that raised them. This is the problem that the C.O.R.E project seeks to address. We train students to research, interview and analyze the problems within their communities in order to define how they can enact changes. Rural China is ready for innovation and entrepreneurs. And they need ...


After more than seven years working as an education administrator and making my living off of telling teachers what to do, it's about time I practice what I preach about being brave, getting entrepreneurial and just doing it. This year, amid countless changes in my work and life, I'm committed to starting and/or supporting a global program that empowers students with special needs in the most under-resourced communities worldwide. This is what keeps me up at night: Knowing that until something changes, it's the children in rural China, the slums of India and the mountains of Pakistan who are ...


As a first-year English teacher in the mountains of rural Yunnan, vision impairments was one thing I didn't anticipate being a life-changing hold back for my students, especially having grown up in the United States where eye exams and glasses are as common as buying shoes. "Why do things have to be like this?" It's something we constantly ask ourselves as teachers, and often the reason we became teachers in the first place, no matter where we are in the world. However, as we get bogged down in our day to day struggles, it is easy to avoid finding solutions ...


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