Dr. Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966. It is a holiday celebrated from December 26 – Jan 1. There is a focus principle each day of the holiday. Although these principles are based on African values, I believe if we apply these principles in education we could improve our education system. Today’s principle is imani/faith – to believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
We have too many educators and education advocates working in or supporting schools, especially schools that serve minority and impoverished students, who do not truly believe all students can learn. If this is you and you are reading this message, please heed my advice and get out of education. Find something else to do with the rest or your life and leave our students alone. You are harming our students. You are destroying our communities. You are blocking the potential of our future.
All students can learn. All students can improve. We just have to find the right strategies to make this a reality and it is hard. Those of us who do believe this have probably experienced a time when our faith was almost extinguished possibly by naysayers or by our own self doubt. Just hang on in there. Reach out to others who believe. Remember the great words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Even though we can’t see the end of the staircase and how the outcome will be for each child, we have to have faith and continue in the struggle until we reach our goal.
Hopefully, you have found a couple points I have shared during the seven days of Kwanzaa helpful as we begin 2018. Let’s all do our part to improve the profession of education. Our society’s future depends upon it.