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Notes From the Future

Posted Mar 31 2006

In contrast of the doom and gloom descriptions of today's youth, the students I teach in Oakland, CA are hardly out-of-control thugs that don't care about their future. Read some first hand accounts from a recent youth conference at UC Berkeley.

In contrast of the doom and gloom descriptions of today's youth, the students I teach in Oakland, CA are hardly out of control thugs that don't care about their future. They participate in rallies, are members of community youth organizations, and constantly work to better themselves as students and people. It's not easy work, but their effort motivates me as their teacher. I view my role as being a facilitator to help them navigate through this complex world and to become empowered to change their lives and the community.

At a national and international level, the labor protests and pro-immigration rallies in the United States have been on their minds. Incidentally, we watched the documentary Walkout this week, which discusses the Chicano led school walk outs in East L.A. in 1968 over the poor condition of the schools. We had great discussions on how to organize and different strategies to gain one's rights. A group of students also attended a conference hosted by the UC Berkeley MEChA chapter. MEChA is a Chicana/o youth-driven community group whose goal includes increasing college attendance of Mexican-American students. The conference featured various workshops, as well as speeches by Dr. Alex M. Saragoza, a specialist on modern Mexico, and Johnny Rodriguez, the founder of One Day At a Time, an orgnization devoted to providing positive opportunites for youth. If anyone doubts the need for more community programs and whether or not students care, read the following student reflections to hear from the students themselves!

Comments

1. Ernesto said at June 21, 2008 1:05 pm:

I believe teachers like you and people like Dr. Alex M. Saragoza should be around teens talking about life, history, and how change can be positive. A lot of kids do think of their future, it's just motivation and a role model. If the kids see's the outcome of a unsucessful person maybe they will change. When I attendeed the UC Berkeley MECHA event, it did change me a lot. I wasm't a bad kid and my grades were not low. It help to work hard in school for college, life, and for my future. Even tough it was made for Latinos, my friends who are african-americans attended this event. They where the only ones there and sitting in front with my class. I was suprise that a lot went to talk with there freinds and meet up with there boy/girl friends. It was very rude because most of the people in the hall but my class where texting and not really caring. The school should open the program try to lour other races. F.Y.I. I am in the pictures, this was 9th grade.

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