July 2014 Archives

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 ...


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