Now That’s a Reason To Educate!!

So this morning I heard a man speak from Uganda, Africa. My first thought was, “Great a guy asking for money.” Wow I was so wrong. The guy started telling what he does and how it all began.  He runs an orphanage and he was telling how it all started with him buying lunch for four children and eventually buying chicken houses for them and 50 of their friends to live in.  He went on to say that his first goal was to find teachers for the children.  Then he said something that I absolutely loved. He summed up the reason why education is so important in one statement:

“If we do not educate children, we are just warehousing them.  We are setting them up to be the prostitutes and pimps of the future.”

WOW isn’t that an incredible statement? Now I know for him in Uganda he is not speaking metaphorically, children in that country will really become prostitutes or pimps if not educated.  But think about our children/students who “slip through the cracks” or drop out or how ever remain uneducated.  Those students become adults who just do things for money.  Hold “jobs” so they can have money to survive.  No careers, no dreams come true, no more goals.  They become “prostitiutes and pimps” of society, the ones doing the bare minimum for their “checks” or even doing nothing at all and collecting from the government.

How as educators could you not want to stop this pattern?! No we cannot change everyone, but we can try to help more than one. We cannot take them out of the environment they live in or the past they have lived, but we can show them they can be successful in something.  We share with them our knowledge and our love for learning.  We teach them how in this new technological age how to “find the answers,” be in control of their learning, and to always want to know more.  We teach them to question, not just answer.  We need to teach them never to be satisfied with the answer.  There is more to educating students than making sure they can pass a stupid test.  Learning needs to be lifelong, education is THAT important.  If you don’t they just become protitutes and pimps of society. NO CHILD DESERVES THAT FATE.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. Cory Plough says:

    Thank you for sharing this story. One of your sentences “No we cannot change everyone, but we can try to help more than one” reminded me of exactly why I got into education. I almost dropped out of HS and was so disgusted that nobody noticed what was going on with me, no teachers, counselors, coaches or parents. They saw a pretty normal kid who was just fading away but didn’t have courage to say anything. I wanted to be different then that. I went into education because I wanted to see the potential in kids, especially in places no other teachers were looking. Your story reminded me of that, reminded me of why I love helping as many as possible, and why one or the next one is never enough.

  2. Great point about teaching more than one student!

    How many times do we say, “if I can just reach one child…”?

    Trying to reach 200 children and only actually reach 25 is far better than trying to only reach one child a year!

    In addition, I like the comment about teaching kids to question, not just learn!

  3. Zoe (zbpipe) says:

    I loved this post- you clearly relay your passion as an educator. I agree- education is now in a position to reach all learners- to help students find their potential and tap into different areas of the brain. We have so many more tools and communities of learners and opportunities for collaboration then ever before – and more importantly – educators like yourself, with enthusiasm and drive, and commitment to reach all learners. Thanks!

  4. I realize that you are reaching educators through your blogs, but I hope that you are doing the same for the teachers on your campus and in your district. You have an awesome outlook on “why we educate” and the importance of educating more than one. As educators we are responsible for student learning, not student schooling. We should not make excuses for students and more than ever the level of expectation must be at its highest…not to pass a test that doesn’t prove very much, but because this world is changing faster than we can understand. Continue to let your passion show, to learn from others, and to be a leader for others to follow and model. Thank you for what you do!

  5. Joan Young says:

    Ok, this is take 2! The first time my comment vanished.. so sad! I am so glad that you have the courage to speak the truth. We need all educators to have your passion and energy for advocacy. Kids need us to be sure they don’t fall through the cracks and we owe it to them to help them be their best. I admire your spunk and enthusiasm and saying what needs to be said. Well done post!

  6. Jon E Lewis says:

    Great post. WadeOnTweets posted an article about leadership which equated to this. We are teaching kids to pass tests and jump through hoops instead of leading and thinking for themselves. Build the resume. Get into good schools. Get a job. Work your way up the ladder. What about kids being kids and learning their passions?

    Unfortunately, our society places the highest value on entertainment rather than education. Teachers in our society should command much higher salaries, and politicians should place a much higher priority on education rather than lip service. However, the dollar always controls.

  7. ktenkely says:

    Awesome Amanda, thank you so much for sharing that story! We have to stop warehousing children. We have to stop limiting what they can do by testing them to death. We need to want better for the students we teach, and we have to do more than just want it, we have to make it a reality for them by changing the way education works.

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