Thursday, September 27, 2018

Words of Wisdom from SMAS Student Wendy Samayoa

Wendy Samoyoa served as 2017-18 Morning Student Council President
at San Mateo Adult School. At the 2018-19 Candidate Forum, she said
her farewells in a powerful speech which speaks to the value of Adult
Education not just at San Mateo Adult School but across our nation.
Here, with her permission, is her speech. Please read it and share.

Wendy Samoyoa
Farewells seem to always have a bittersweet flavor with
feelings that are intertwined, although their nature is different.
I feel sadness, satisfaction and also, a certain relief to be able
to transfer the responsibilities of the position because it’s time
for new leaders. But, above all, the feeling that gains the
most strength is, without a doubt, gratitude. Today culminates
an important period in my life, a period in which it was a privilege
and an honor to preside over this Student Council. It was a year
of commitment and, in turn, a year of projects, opportunities and
challenges, of hard work, meetings, strugglesfor the improvement
of student services, community work and professional
and human growth. I must admit that it was not easy to carry
out this task, but it was worth the effort and, in exchange, we
obtained achievements and agreements for the benefit of all
of us. As President of the 2017-2018 Student Council of the
San Mateo Adult School, I want to thank you for your support
and all the work you do every day so that adult education in San
Mateo is getting better and better.Thanks to the administration,
especially to Director Tim Doyle for welcoming us, for listening
to our complaints and supporting our activities. Thanks to
Stephanie Kriebel, our teacher adviser, for the trust and
responsibility placed in us, for her never-ending support. Thank
you to all the teachers and staff members who in different ways
always give their support. Thanks to those who with their work
and enthusiasm accompanied me in this adventure, because
they have believed in us and always supported us. Also, I would
like to acknowledge Vice President Jackie Lhereux and Secretary
Williams Avelino, who were key leaders in the work done and
who accompanied me in the quest for better student services.
I would also like to thank the representatives of each classroom,
for the work they did and for always showing up to participate
in our activities.For me it is very humbling to be in front of you
today; Being president of this school taught me something
important: believe in myself and believe in what we can
achieve together. This "faith" in us has materialized over
the course of a year, work that I have done with selflessness,
honesty and team effort.
During my time at this school, one of the areas that most
interested me was being able to collaborate in various activities.
The possibility of going with my colleagues to different experiences
allowed me to know the difficult realities in which we live day by day
and also to understand that adult education is the only transforming
force that can make a difference in many families. Beyond solidarity,
we need adult education to be the driving force of a country, so that
we all advance alone and achieve the merits, not thanks to the
charity of a few, but to our own work.We are not numbers nor are
we the results of a test; We are people who want to change the
world and for that we need tools that are not only learned in
classes, but with experiences that allow us to get out of the
bubble in which we live and open our eyes so that we can see the
reality of this country that today, more than ever, needs our
critical look as a starting point for real structural changes in the
country.I am talking with you as a student and partner committed
to generating a positive impact in our school. Today, this country
needs young people and adults who strive not only to be better, but
to offer their efforts for all and do it selflessly, and we are the ones
who have the tools to transform this country.
To you, the candidates. I wish you much encouragement and
strength in this new stage, and no advice because I know that
you are committed to yourselves and this school, and have the
vision, qualities and experience to carry on this journey. Know that
you can count on my support at any time.
It has been a pleasure for me to represent all of you and to be able
to work so that our vision is always within reach. I thank you all for
the support and I hope that my work has been to your liking and
that you will carry on this mission. The sky is not the limit!

Thank you, Wendy, for your service as a leader and for taking
the time to write this inspiring, empowering, and important speech
- and then share it with us.

After her speech, SMAS Student Council Adviser Stephanie Kriebel
presented Wendy with a special award from OTAN

Stephanie Kriebel and Wendy Samayoa
with OTAN award.
SMAS Director Tim Doyle in the background.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Results of Surveys about Possible Changes to Credentialing System for Adult Education

This Spring the Legislative Analyst Office recommended getting rid of the K-12 Adult School credential.  You can read more about that here.

I created a survey asking folks their thoughts on this entitled, "Keep, Change, Throw Away."  You can see that post and the survey here.

Results of survey intended for Adult Ed folks across the state of California

Results of survey intended for San Mateo Adult School teachers.

Be sure to click on "Responses" to read the details of what people think.

Two things seem clear from the surveys:

*  The credential system needs improvement

*  Many people in Adult Education do not feel their voice and ideas are heard or valued.

I do feel my voice is valued - and perhaps that is because I have engaged in so much advocacy work - including starting and running this blog.  But closer to the truth, I think, is that I started the blog and engage in advocacy work because I think our ideas and voices matter and have power.  Skills and organization amplify our voices and bring our ideas to the table.  How the larger conversations go depends on many factors - who else is at the table, how much our ideas threaten the status quo, what else is going on at the table and in the larger zeitgeist, etc.   But as we have seen over and over throughout history, skill, organization and commitment played as a long game have tremendous power.

Thank you to each of you who took the time to answer the survey.  Your voices and ideas make a difference and I will do my best to get them out there through these survey results. 

I was very late in taking the surveys, myself, in closing the survey, and now in sharing results due to my efforts to to keep shoes on my child's feet (said the shoemaker).  You can see I also bungled my responses in a way that doesn't misrepresent my views but make it a bit hard understanding them.

But finally!  Here they are!  The results!

Please take a look at them and consider the responses, ideas, views, etc. 

Discussion of this recommendation by the LAO to drop the Adult School credential went quiet this summer - but I am sure it will return.  We must be ready to engage in meaningful dialogue about the value of a credential in Adult Education. With facts and good ideas, we must push for what we think best serves the profession and our students.

- Cynthia Eagleton

Mom, blog author, ESL teacher at SMAS, vice-president of CFT Local 4681, sometime ball dropper.