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A message of hope for educators

Posted: Friday, Jan 11th, 2013

Jeff Duncan-Andrade, PhD, delivers a hard-hitting speech Friday at the Mello Center to educators about the values of developing hope in students and dealing with the long-lasting effects of violence and poverty. (Photos by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian).

WATSONVILLE — Even the best teachers encounter students whose demeanor, apathy or unruly behavior frustrate them.

When that happens, the temptation too often is to give up, declaring that student beyond hope.

The message from Dr. Jeff Duncan-Andrade to hundreds of educators who packed the Henry J. Mello Center Friday was that each student deserves a chance, that their behavior can be explained by their environment and that, with a little hope, they can be saved.

“A young person doesn’t care what you know until they know you care,” Duncan-Andrade said.

Duncan-Andrade compared such students to roses growing in concrete, and said that it’s the teacher’s job to encourage students to think of themselves in terms of a glass being half-full, as opposed to half-empty.

“But the way to do that is for us to see them that way first,” he said. “With those very same kids we have crystal clear evidence that there are some teachers who find success.”

For the complete article see the 01-12-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 01-12-2013 paper.

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