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2017 Alumni Excellence Award Ceremony Highlights



I first want to say what you all surely know that it's always special and particularly satisfying when you make your mother happy this is my alma mater my alma mater has said I did good and that's a wonderful feeling to have what Stanford as an institution does is not merely to teach a subject matter but to communicate habits of mind that allow you to think about those subjects matters textbooks incompetent instructors can always teach a motivated student a subject matter but those that achieve eminence in their fields like so many the Stanford faculty do teach you what matters most about those subjects the Graduate School of Education provided me a great start to a career which I got a chance to influence educational policy in the USA just a little and I've had so much fun working on very real and very serious problems of Education so thank you much for my education and for this honor you I grew up as a farm laborer in the 1950s and worked with braceros Mexican immigrants who entered the United States under a federal program I vividly recall wanting to be white and feeling more Mexican than Japanese my first teaching job was in Japan in 1977 I left Japan in 1980 to pursue graduate studies with SciTech they challenged my extent assumptions on topics like us-japan relations or US relations with other countries and after graduation I became a public school teacher and the importance that SciTech placed upon diverse perspectives and interdependence became a priority in my teaching and eventually in my work at spice I'm grateful to the Magnificent GSE staff for organizing one of the most meaningful days of my life right at the end of step Jeannie sent each of her studies a card that image serves as a talisman from what I started to learn at stop from Jeannie and others how to win hearts and minds how to challenge them with rigor and compassion and how to work collaboratively to create change reflecting on my time in the Graduate School of Education has taught me that the interactions we have with students can be life-changing down the road even if we don't realize it at the time I am very humbled to accept this award on behalf of my own teachers most particularly for my students and the ways that we make the world together bit by bit even after they leave my classroom thank you you'd be someplace and say well I'm a teacher I'm a social studies teacher and the response would inevitably be something a variation of I don't know how you do that over the last twenty eight years I've come to my answer and so if somebody said to me now you know I don't know how you do that I would say I don't know how you don't do that how do you not wake up every morning and go to a school or go to this place that's thinking deeply about education that's thinking about our practice and our profession about how you make schools a better place how do you not teach I've never doubted the why of doing this and that is because every child who walks through our doors deserves a great education so thank you for this it's an honor that is beyond me it's incredibly humbling but I do appreciate it deeply and it's a treasure to be part of this community thank you

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