Saturday, June 17, 2017

Be fearless, be proud, and develop x-ray vision

Be fearless, be proud, and develop x-ray vision:

Dear education graduates: Be fearless, be proud, develop x-ray vision

It was an honor to give the commencement speech to the Masters in Education graduates of San José State University. This is what I told them: 
I want to thank Miss Cabrie – and the College of Education and all of you for this invitation and for reminding me where I came from.
I remember sitting at my university just like you’re sitting here now.  That was 1980 – 37 years ago.  And I’m 39.
I look at you and it occurs to me that I have socks older than some of you people.
I’m old.  But I look good.  And I feel good.  And I’m excited about how you look.  You look like a garden.  You’re beautiful.  And what you’re about to do with your lives is beautiful.
Welcome to the most vital, most important, most influential profession in the universe.  Something in the world is going to change because of something you saw – something you do – some seed you plant in the mind of one of your students.
You won’t be alone.  You’ll have your colleagues.  You’ll have the CTA and you’ll have me at the NEA.  You’ll have parents and communities that respect you and the miracles you’ve been called on to perform.
You’ll have your students.  And they will love you. And you will love them… but not every day. 
But every now and then something will happen where you will see love – in the most frustrating, chaotic times…  you’ll feel it.  And it’ll make all the difference in the world.
And let me just say, this work is hard. And the rest of the world won’t always see that you’re making a difference.
There are a lot of politicians out there (bless their hearts) – (I found out you can pretty much say anything you want about someone if you say “bless their hearts” before you say it.)
A lot of politicians think they can judge what we do by a student’s standardized test score. I asked a group of high school students what they thought of that.
One guy raised his hand and said:  I get good grades if I have a good teacher.  I get good grades if I have a bad teacher.  I just get good grades ‘cause I’m really smart.
And I thought:  wow!  A+ in self-esteem.
A girl raised her hand and said: My worst year in school was when a lot was happening back home and I just kind of Be fearless, be proud, and develop x-ray vision:

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