Education and the Lack Thereof.

And so today marks the end of the first week of school. School Year 2009-2010 is officially underway! This year for me is kind of bittersweet, because it marks the year that my very first kids are graduating from elementary school this year.

It’s a bit sad to not that while so much has changed, so much still remains the same. It’s sad how education is still deemed as a privilege and not a right in so many ways. What’s even more frustrating about the whole situation is hearing how our government misspends so much of it’s money. And let’s not forget about the whole issue of corruption, right?

This gets me to thinking: how can we really make a change in the system? I feel this step will not only make a change in education but in life in general.

The solution: it starts with us.

Cliché, right? Cliché but true.

Imagine this: if we stopped thinking “everyone else is doing it, so I might as well do the same thing” things would be so much difference. For example, if the higher-ups stopped focusing on the “what’s in it for me” and instead care more about “what is in the best interest” things will start to make changes. Small and slow changes, but changes nevertheless. For me, on a personal level, I am committing to no longer using pirated videos for my lessons, even though I just borrow them and not buy them technically. While videos may technically be in the best interest of my students’ learning, I have to look at the underlying message I am inadvertently sending.

Like I said, this attitude can make a change in so many aspects of life. To be honest, the thought dawned on me while I was stuck in traffic. I realized that more than just the fact that our streets are overcrowded, one major contributor to traffic is the fact that we think only about how we can get ahead rather than how we can all get through the traffic easily. Take the bottleneck by the Bicutan off-ramp of the Skyway. Drivers refuse to yield to one another, thus the snail-paced movement extends even longer, especially for those who are in the proper lane to begin with. If we took turns and went alternately, I’m sure everyone would get to their destination faster. Bottom line, what happens is we tend to think why let people pass me when no one lets me pass either.

So this school year, my quest is to make sure I teach my students that there is indeed a world so much bigger than us, and that no matter how cliché it may be, change begins in one’s self…no matter how small that may be.

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