On today's episode of the podcast, I got to chat with software engineer Jackson Bates who lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. Jackson used to be a high school English teacher, but gradually taught himself to code and landed a pretty sweet gig as a React dev, partly by chance. Today he works part time as a developer, part time as a stay at home dad, and volunteers his time with various open source projects. Jackson grew up in England, and studied English in school. Although going into education seemed a logical choice, he dabbled in other fields - like working at a prison cafeteria - for a while before landing a teaching job.
Rabat, Morocco - When Widad Houmaid, 20, earned good marks in high school, she decided to enrol in a biology class at Hassan II University in Casablanca. There was only one problem; Moroccan university professors teach science in French. Houmaid, a graduate of Moroccan public schools where maths and science are taught in Arabic, does not speak French. She is now struggling in her biology class. "You have to speak French to get the professors' respect, and to get their attention," she said.
John Legend has written about his own high school education in a powerful op-ed about empowering teachers for HuffPost. He said that in that moment, it struck him that the number of students graduating was half what it had been at freshman orientation. "Nearly fifty percent of my peers had given up on their education and dropped out," he noted. He said that in Springfield, Ohio--where he grew up--success was not "a widespread expectation for young people". "Looking back, I realize, had it not been for a few teachers who saw my potential and sparked my passion, I might not have found a love of learning and the confidence to pursue my dreams," wrote Legend.