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 Do you know who you are? 
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[quote]“…your identity should come from something you take pride in. It shouldn’t just be something that just sets you apart from other people, it should be one of those things that, you know, people generally understand is a good thing, something we all share, rather than what separates us.â€

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Stephanie Williams


Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:41 pm
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Isn't it amazing how much power we as educators have. It's actually quite scary. For someone to tell a young adult that they are not college material and because of the position they hold within the walls of an educational institution, we naturally believe what they say. I applaud you Stephanie for continuing on, lots of kids don't. Cedric/Lavar was one of the lucky ones, he did have people believing in him, not everyone, but enough to make a difference. I view this as a gentle reminder to us, as educators, parents, family and friends to choose words carefully, for you never know how they will be absorbed.

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Amy Scronce


Thu Feb 08, 2007 1:56 pm
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Good for you Stephanie. I think this makes the point that self-esteem is such an imortant component of anyone's success. It is our job to cultivate this confidence in our students. Guidance counselors play such an important role in this aspect of student's lives. I think anybody should have the opportunity to do what they feel is right for you.

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Amy Hord


Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:28 pm
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As an educator we must always choose our words carefully. We can not use our own bias or opinions in putting limitations on a students potential. It really is amazing how much power as educators we have to tear down students self concept.

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Jeremiah McCluney


Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:43 pm
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Jeremiah, you're absolutely right about choosing words carefully, and we see a perfect example in the book when Cedric is at MIT, just beginning to fit in with his high-SAT-score peers, and the professor tells him he is not MIT material. At sixteen years old, someone in that lofty of a position basically telling me that my ultimate dream would never come true would be devastating, and it turned out to be very deflating to Cedric as well. We all have students about whom we harbor doubts, but it is so important that they understand that they can truly do anything they want with their lives. A little encouragement, in place of a little discouragement, may be exactly the kick-in-the-butt that that particular child needs, and it may just make the difference for that child between success and failure.

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Logan McGuire


Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:11 pm
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Let me be devil's advocate here. We also do not need to avoid having the tough conversation with kids who think they are MIT material and they are having trouble passing English I in high school. educators have also not had the guts some times to tell parents and the students the truth either. Making an honest observation about a student's abilities can be useful as well. We just have to be diplomatic, caring, and compassionate, not malicious.

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"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." M. Twain


Sat Feb 10, 2007 9:16 pm
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John, you are always a voice of reason. I believe in building self-esteem and self-worth; however, I do not believe in doing that at the expense of the truth. Children are lied to daily, by their parents, friends, and teachers. It is time out for basing their lives on a lie. It is wonderful to hope for success in the NBA; however, they have to also know what it is going to take to get there. It is one thing to want to be a singer-American Idol-it is a totaling unsettling thing to finally hear after years of someone lying to you that you really cannot sing. It is one thing to be smart or have the motivation to excel in school and find out that you are not near the top of your class. Tell the truth but do it without agendas or pain in mind.

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Alisa Ferguson
MSA, ASU, summer 2007


Sat Feb 24, 2007 2:12 pm
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I'm from Robeson County, one of the poorest counties in NC. Eventhough I had great grades, my SAT scores were not the best. To top it off, I was a sharecropper's son. I was told not to apply for college, but to opt for a tour in the military instead. Yeah right!! I was told "You won't make it on Elon's football team." Again, Yeah right!! Teach a child to have faith in his/her abilities and no matter what the naysayers have to say, they will achieve their dreams. Lavar believed in his abilities.

Teachers should be honest. Give good advice without hidden agendas and always put the child's best interest first. Even in middle school, I have come across situations where teachers have lied to students. Placing them in high level classes in elementary school, but these same students don't fair so well in middle school.

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BT AP
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Iredell County


Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:17 pm
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Billy, I think you're right on the money with the power that the truth gives to kids. Kids have NO CHANCE if all of a sudden one day they realize that no one has ever told them the truth.

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Neil Atkins


Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:34 am
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