The Learning

"POV's The Learning tells a surprising tale of immigration, globalization and America's shifting position in the 21st century. When the United States took possession of the Philippines in 1898, American teachers set up the islands' public school system. English was established as the language of instruction and remains so to this day. Today in the Philippines, there is a large pool of trained, motivated, English-speaking teachers, especially in high school math, science and special education. In their country, these teachers receive poverty-level salaries, making them prized recruitment targets for many U.S. school districts, especially those in cash-strapped inner cities. While a salary in one of these urban districts may be low by American standards, it can be as much as 25 times a teacher's salary in the Philippines." - The Learning. I heard about it on a segment on KCBS 740 AM radio this morning.

As I began my commute, I had the radio off and was thinking about a conversation I had with my future Mother-In-Law on Friday about our future, our commutes, and our careers. She mentioned that she wished her children had gotten their real estate license. DB basically did everything regarding the purchase of our home and did really well with the help of his mother. And I was offered a chance to get my real estate license when I was 20 or 21-years-old by a regular of mine and his wife at The Bridges Golf Course. I did say yes, obtained the DVDs and watched one of them, but I regretfully did not follow through with it. I should actually look this man up, apologize and probably discuss this again.

After our conversation, I thought that it may be another thing I can dabble in. (Oh, God. Another one?) I do work in a law firm that specializes in real estate and construction defects so resources come aplenty, I have a future Mother-In-Law that is so incredibly helpful, and I am always wanting to learn and be a well-rounded person. Moving forward with this idea is still up in the air and DB' initial reaction to all this was "it's too much work." I agree that it is a lot of work. But not sure if I agree it's 'too' much work. You have to know so much about the area, how it is developing, its history and each house has its own history, financing, rates, laws,... I want to and try to keep up to date as much as I can with what's happening in my new town, my neighborhood, support local businesses and current events. Thinking about this, it led me to turn on the radio to learn more about what's going on outside of my own little world and be in the know.

These Filipino teachers from 'The Learning' are recruited to come to the United States and teach inner city kids. They leave their families in their home country, make 25 times more and are able to make a difference in many people's lives, here in the US and improve the lives of their families. Some people argue that immigrants come to the US, take citizens jobs and send their earnings back to their home country and it's not re-used in the US economy. I don't support this just because I am also Filipino. I am in favor of this because -

...they know the language. Some immigrants that come to the US do not know the language and have no intention of learning the language. Yet, we have translators, translated forms, etc. to assist them in living in the country. I think the immigrants that want to remain in this country must know the language in order to become citizens.

...they are educating people. When we were in the market for a new home, good schools were important to me. California is cutting education budgets. It is now hard for students to get into a State College. Students that are enrolled, it takes longer to graduate because there are fewer classes that are available. It is even hard to get a job at McDonalds according to news articles. I know folks that are home schooling their children because they're not satisfied with the school systems. I know folks that pay $10,000 - $18,000 in tuition per school year in grade school, middle school and high school and homework is assigned with misspellings and grammatical errors. Correspondences via email to the parents are sloppy. I will raise hell if I see any of that from my children's teachers. Take the majority of Filipino households in the United States and you will find that their children are raised knowing they need to get good grades, go to college, and do everything they need to do to get there. And all while needing to be respectful. Some American kids could really use the Filipino fist that I know of and teach them more than just their ABCs. I am OK with them sending their pay to an impoverishment of a country in exchange for brightening the future of our country's youth. I commend all teachers who remain being teachers today and those that are studying to become a teacher. We really need more people like you.

...specifically, they are educating inner city kids. Take poverty-stricken educators from a third-world country and throw them into an inner city school system, perhaps not only were these educators cheaper to pay, they're more willing and have not yet given up on this class of students. I am all for organizations that want to grow a tree in Brooklyn.

I want to keep learning. There ARE kids out there that want to as well. Kids want to be astronauts, pilots, artists, basketball players, and bless their hearts, they want to be teachers. It is nice to know that a mother from across the country is encouraging me to do more and mothers turned teachers keep those dreams and aspirations alive of our inner city youth as they're oceans apart from their own blood.

I am looking forward to watching this film.

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