2008 UF COE Writing Contest Entry
(This is one of 27 entries submitted in the College's recent writing contest on the topic of "What's Good in Education?". Visit the writing contest home page for links to other entries, including the winning one.)
What's Good in Education?
The sure-fire power of positive thinking
By DANIELLE SMITH
BAE '08 (May graduate)
Have you ever heard so many negative comments about education? I have and I am tired of it. We live in a society of negativity. If you lived with my family, that would not be tolerated. My dad has this saying, "If it isn't necessary and it doesn't edify, don't say it!" I believe this statement can be applied anywhere. It simply says that if you do not have anything positive or beneficial to say that will build up a person or society, not tear them down, then it should not be said.
This can be related to education. If you notice, the more we talk negatively about education, the worse it gets. But if we can get it into our minds to speak positive things, the better education will be and improve.
Already, education has come a long way. Everyone is becoming included. Laws and acts have been passed, including IDEA and Brown vs. The Board of Education that have allowed those who were segregated and treated unequally to be included in and with the majority population. Still others have fought for those wanting to learn English as a second language to have the opportunity to learn English in a way that will not isolate them. In effect, gains are being made to make this possible in that educators are becoming aware and are educating present and future teachers to be better instructors for the non-native speakers. In addition, efforts and programs are being implemented to target and improve math and science. Reading and other subjects, although they may not be in the lime light as much as math and science, are steadily advancing.
So what is really good in education? I remember talking about the term "self-fulfilling prophecy" in one of my classes. It is a term that means what we believe about something, positive or negative, is what will come out of it because it is our expectation. In reflecting on this, I came to realize that all of my teachers have had a positive self-fulfilling prophecy about me. This allowed me to have a positive self-
efficacy, or belief, in myself. I can see this now in classrooms where I have volunteered because students are truly achieving and believing in themselves.
Although we may not see monumental changes where statistics are concerned, look in your classroom at the excitement in your students who are improving and succeeding everyday and then determine what is good in education. What is good is that educators are having a greater awareness for positive thinking, the government is beginning to see the need support education, and teachers are beginning to acknowledge improvements great and small. This is what is good in education.
Back to Writing Contest home page