Graduation Speech On The Education System

1090 Words5 Pages
In my twenty-plus years as an educator, I have seen many changes in our educational system. I have witnessed the explosion of technology in instruction and the change to more rigorous, student-centered teaching. However, the biggest change I have witnessed has been in the families of my students. Not only has the family structure changed, but the diversity of the families I serve has changed, as well. Many of the students on our campus are now coming from limited English speaking or economically disadvantaged homes. However, as an educator, I am still responsible for meeting the educational needs of these diverse populations. Immigration is changing the composition of America and thereby changing the public education system. Lapkoff and Li (2007) report that of the children who speak a language at home other than English, 28 percent speak English less than “very well”. This language barrier has already resulted in the need for more English Language Learner (ELL) teachers to assist this diverse group of students. I teach in rural community and I remember well in my second year of teaching when our elementary campus received its first non-English speaking student. The whole school was confused on how to proceed to provide an education for the child. I can remember the girl’s teacher desperately trying to bridge the language gap by using her version of charades and student assistance. Fortunately the young girl was not mentally scarred from her experience and picked up English rather quickly. She continued in the school system and actually graduated near the top of her class. Fast forward to the present, and I think about the programs our campus now has in place for the ELL students and the many teachers on our campus wh... ... middle of paper ... ...cularly if they have had previous negative contacts with the school” (Pena, 2000, p. 50). To diffuse this barrier, effective parent communication must be one of my priorities as a teacher leader. Outreach to these parents must be focused on the student, not the parent. Communication should be non-judgmental and with no educational jargon that may act as a barrier to positive interactions. As a teacher leader, I have to believe that I have the ability to make a difference for all students, regardless of their cultural, social, or economic backgrounds. I need to empower my students with necessary skills for securing a successful academic career. I realize that before diverse population students can feel successful in school, they must first have teachers who believe they can be successful. Then the teachers must strive each day to make their beliefs become reality.
Open Document