SOESD / Learning Matters / Newsletter Archive / October 2006 / Dr. Francisco Reveles
Dr. Francisco Reveles
Dr. Francisco Reveles from Cal State Sacramento was a keynote speaker during this year’s August Institute, hosted by the ESD. He has worked extensively with at-risk students and offered strategies for building resilience in all of our students, not just those identified as being at-risk.
He recommends that we build strong, lasting relationships with our students, our colleagues, and the parents and other community members. He stated, “I have accomplished many things because I collaborate.”
Reveles encourages all of us to assist our students in setting goals and then making positive choices that will lead toward the achievement of those goals. Not all students think they have a future because they have lost hope. We educators are in the perfect position to offer support, to mentor and serve as role models. One of the best ways to do that is to have high expectations. Low expectations, too often say, “I don’t respect you, I don’t expect much out of you.” Cynda Rickert, Director of School Improvement agreed and shared a story about a student who said “My teacher thought I was smart, so I was!”
Reveles went on to say that when students are in a survival mode, they are on the run. But when they begin to feel successful, they are better able to make a stand, to feel empowered rather than impoverished. One of the best ways to help them feel successful is by developing their literacy. Learning how to read and write builds self-esteem and serves as a stronghold in every facet of their lives. Success in school builds momentum and students can head out into the world, not only having the skills to hold down a job, but to find their passion and create a career. You might be the only reason that a student comes to school— their last hope. Your respect, your teaching practices, and your own resilience may be their guiding light.