What Students Teach Us

Oct 23, 2020

An Update from Commissioner Infante-Green

“From pre-school to high school, our students are showing resilience, responsibility, and respect for one another, and we are incredibly proud of them.”

These words from an opinion article recently authored by our eight East Bay superintendents really jumped off the page when I read them. This sentence captures exactly how I feel, especially as I visit school after school across our state. Our students are showing us, the adults, how to adapt and thrive during challenging times.

In this complex environment, it is sometimes helpful to remind ourselves what we in the public education profession are all about — guiding our students to be thoughtful citizens, leaders of character, and contributors to our society no matter what path they choose. We are investing our time and energy in their futures, hopeful that the world will be a better place as a result of our efforts.

The generation of young people that is in our schools today fills me with confidence. At every school I visit, teachers, parents, and principals tell me with pride how well their students are doing. And when I listen to the students, they tell me the unvarnished truth: this pandemic isn’t easy at all, but they are happy and energized to be back with their friends and their teachers.

Our students are stepping up in other ways as well. The student member of the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education asks some of the best and most challenging questions I have ever received. Other students are joining local and statewide meetings to offer their ideas on how to make school even better. And other students are joining peaceful demonstrations for justice and equality.

These young people inspire me and fill me with great confidence for the future of our state and our nation. At the end of hard days, it helps me to remember why we do what we do and why education is the most rewarding field imaginable.