Jaime Escalante, the inspirational mathematics teacher on whom the movie Stand and Deliver is based, died yesterday at the age of 79 years old.
Though Jaime lived in a totally different part of the country from me and taught a totally different subject matter, I could not help but be moved every time I watched Stand and Deliver. I think that this movie and Jaime's real-life story was so powerful because of his absolute faith and certainty that his students could achieve and would achieve if given the time and attention that true learning requires. I'm sure that the movie version of his story is dramatized, but the essence of his story is what's inspirational to me. We can never give up on our students. We cannot doubt their ability or their potential. We are not judges, we are teachers. Our students can learn, we need to teach. And reteach. This is what I take from this story. Thanks, Jaime Escalante, for sharing your life and your story!