Last week some on my immigrant students visited classrooms to share with students what it is like to move to the US. I was very proud of my students for sharing personal stories and speaking English. One of my senior students from Vietnam discussed education and communism in Vietnam. She made a most profound statement. She said, "We learn for nothing." In Vietnam, the students do not have the opportunities to become what they desire, rather the government dictates their occupational futures. They do not learn to have independent thought, as they must appease the government. We are so blessed in the US to have freedom in our choices and our education. I wish more American students would recognize the gift they have been given and treat it well.
By the way, when asked what the student wanted to be when she grows up, she said that she wants to be a doctor. She would like to provide medical care to the people in Africa. She hopes to study at Duke. I almost cried in front of the class when I heard this!
Her younger sister, who has a beautiful smile and smiles often, wants to be a dentist because she wants everyone to have a great smile!