One of the hot topics in America today is public education. The question that everyone is trying to answer is how we make our schools better for our kids. It seems like everyone has an opinion as to what the best solution is. Some are choosing to pull their kids out of the public education system entirely while others believe that the answers lie in school choice. Personally, I don't quite know what the right answer is. So I decided to join Teach for America to find out.
TFA is a nationally recognized organization that seeks to empower children by working to end educational inequity. The goals are both short- and long-term. Corps members are given the opportunity to make immediate impacts in the classroom as full-time teachers. Upon completion of their two-year commitment in the classroom, many corps members will choose to stay in the classroom and continue to teach. Others will go into the work force or choose to go to graduate school, but all alumni will be lifetime advocates for excellent education for all.
Nelson Mandela once said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." I believe that he is correct in this assessment. In order to be successful in this world, you must have an education. It is nearly impossible to find a job in today's economy that doesn't require a high school diploma or GED. Lack of education also increases the likelihood that a person will get involved in gangs, drugs, or violent street activity. With these two facts in mind, it is imperative that we get children the best education possible.
The place where I believe Teach for America gets it right is on the individual level. In order to enact lasting change, it comes down to the individual. TFA believes that all children have the ability to achieve academic success. They must have good teachers that can inspire them to achieve greatness which is not to say that we don't already have great teachers in today's classrooms. I'm sure that there are thousands of wonderful teachers in America today that inspire their students to push themselves on a daily basis. But, we need more of these types of teachers, and TFA does an excellent job of identifying which people would foster that type of environment.
The reason I chose to get involved with this organization is because I want to be a part of the solution. I want to get in the classroom and find out first hand what the problems are in school. I think that if everyone who cares about public education went out and found a way to get some type of hands-on experience whether it is volunteering, substitute teaching, or joining the local Parent Teacher Association, then the solution to how to better educate our kids would be found.