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On Wed, 21 Jan 1998, Walt Barlow wrote:

> In my humble opinion, no matter what one does, no matter how many programs
> you throw money and energy into, if the individual student does not make a
> personal investment in her/his success, he/she will not succeed in school
> or any other endeavor, regardless of race, gender, economic status.

In general, I agree with you.  Students DO need to "make a personal
investment" in their success.  Our job is teaching them that this
investment in themselves will be beneficial for them and for society!
That doesn't take money, but it does take energy, commitment, and
dedication.

> Call me what you will, but I respect each adult's decision to make it or
> not. I stand with open arms to those students who want to take advantage,
> but I avoid chasing students down to try and force them to be successful.

You're right, one can't chase "students down to try and force them to be
successful," but there are too many teachers who end up forcing students
to be unsuccessful by being so rigid in their teaching methods that there
is no room for cultural and/or creative expression. Granted there are
certain standards of education that have historically presented the
viewpoint of "dead, white, European males."  But, my gosh, this isn't the
be-all/end-all of education.  Learning involves finding out what you
don't know about what interests you--in any subject.  I call this the
"nosy puppy" method of learning.  And, while I don't hunt students down
either, I DO let the students who come to me know that I, personally, care
whether or not they make it through college.  I don't want to hang out in
their lives forever, but I DO want to be there (with open arms, open
heart and open mind) when they need a hand over the rough spots.  In our
student success workshop, we stress that neither we nor their teachers can
"make" students successful, but we can darn sure help them if that is
their goal.  By the way, I have yet to find a student who comes to college
with the intention of failing!

Peggy Keller
English Instructional Technician
Assistance Centers for Education
Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute
525 Buena Vista SE
Albuquerque, NM  87106