When I taught in an urban school district outside of a major
Medina writes, “The plan, designed by Roland G. Fryer, a
I had a dream about this program last night. I remembered how my high-achieving college roommate found out our sophomore year that her parents started paying her younger sisters $5 for each A they earned. My friend had brought home almost all A’s sans financial reward. She wrote her parents a bill for her twelve years of schooling, which they paid sheepishly. Her sisters have finished high school and college by now, but arguably, my friend still has a deeper love of learning and reading. I thought about capitalism and how it depresses me. Many of my current students resent having to study literature. “How will this help me be a computer engineer? How will this help me be a nurse?” I find students want job training rather than education. The concept of being wealthy with knowledge does not exist as it once did. Many of my students see learning as something to be gotten through in order to earn their threshold salary. It makes me wonder why people of their generation will teach, for the salary isn’t what motivates most of us.
However, then I thought back to the students I didn’t reach because I couldn’t share the concept of deferred gratification during the ten months that I knew them. My parents taught me my love of education. My household of people who played Scrabble and knew so much more during a game of Trivial Pursuit than I did fostered in me a genuine desire to know more. I find