Teaching, Poverty and Society

Teaching, Poverty and Society
By Ricardo Giraldo C, MA Education, MBA Business Economics
               Teaching and learning are an essential part of life; however not everyone is willing to teach sharing their knowledge. We can hear many excuses to avoid teaching to someone like "you have to love children to be a teacher, teachers are special people, to be a teacher you must have a lot of patience and motivation, too much work and low gratification, teaching someone is bringing competition into your workplace, threatens your job stability and more. The list of excuses go on and on, but at the end they are only dramatic excuses that accomplishes nothing because they do not help to reduce the gaps of poverty and the development of a society.

                Learning about life and basic education begins in the home, the schools and finished in the streets; all these experiences are the inducement that gives direction to the individuals living in society. The ones with more knowledge and/or experience have the opportunity to specialize in a career and develop their skills, and grow, while working for an organization. But remain in this society, others whom have never found or lost the opportunity to move forward, adding themselves to the thousands of disjointed for the disadvantages living in society.
They feel helpless, alone and miserable, unfortunates underpaid or unemployed looking every day for the basic resources to survive, swimming in the lake of poverty that was created by the same society, where more and more people around the world are falling down wandering between the certain and uncertain of their existence, fighting to avoid becoming ballast for their families and the society. The ones that had the opportunity to look into the eyes of these individuals, found them craving for an opportunity to gain knowledge, experience or one more chance to demonstrate that they could do a great job if someone taught them to work for an organization, or teach the basic skills to start their own business finding in it the support and the motivation to keep swimming toward the shore and leave the lake of misery on their own.
                The United States of North America, one of the most powerful and developed countries around the world, is not an exception to this reality, and it is easy to corroborate looking a chart with it’s Civil Labor Force (CLF) rates of employment and unemployment during the years 2000- 2013, where we can observed that they maintained opposite directions, the rate of employment reduced and the rate of unemployment rose.
In the chart the official CLF employed moved from 64.4 % of the total population (283 millions, year 2000) to 55.7% (317 Million, year 2013), while the CLF unemployed moved from 8.3 % (17 mill, 2000) to 8.9 % (27 million, year 2011) and 7.5% (15 million, 2013) an apparently reduction of 13 % (period 2000-2013) , but in absolute terms the CLF unemployed decreased because the total CLF reduce from 209 million in 2011 to 200.4 million in 2013.
 Chart:  Employment and Unemployment Rates in United States:
                                         Period 2000-2013
CLF/average & population    2000     2011     2013    Observation 
CLF employed                    64.4 %  58.4 %  55.7%   121 million                                                                                        average (2000-                                                                                2013 reduced 17%)
CLF unemployed                  8.3 %   8.9 %     7.5%    17 mill Average                                                                                (reduced 20% 2011 -                                                                           2013)
CLF total                         72.7 %   67.3 %    63.2%   209 mill (2011)                                                                                 200.3 mill (2013)                                                                               (Reduced 5.3%)
Population                     283 mill  312 mill   317 mill   11 % population                                                                                increment
Source: United States Census Bureau Statistics/ WWW.;
Basically, the well-being of the US total population ( 300 million average in this period) were supported by a 86 % of the official CLF (121 Million average), charity organization, the government programs and people self employed during this period. The US Census Bureau Statistics calculated that 15.1 % US population lived in poverty, more than 16 million children lived with families that struggle to put food on their tables every day and 51% of the population older than 65 years lived in poverty during the years 2000-2011.
                Poverty is a phenomenon social and economic that affects every society in the world, so if we expand our analysis to observe the rates of poverty in the world, the statistics can scare us more than any terror bloody movie that a writer could imagine. People living in poverty are nothing new, but we together can contribute to make effective changes that could reduce and cut some of it’s tentacles affecting the population. May be you are asking yourself the question how could I help? And the answer is simply, teach something to someone in need when you have the opportunity. If we give a little of our time to teach, we are favoring positive changes in the life of someone, and consequently we are collaborating with the development of our communities because the addition of these small contributions will be by irradiation provoking important changes in favor of the well being of our society.
We could work like musicians do, envisioning and arranging notes, tempo, create new songs or the painters creating, modifying images and scenarios in their paintings. If we reflect on this, we could teach others to reduce poverty. The ones that had in the past negative experiences teaching giving yourself a second chance to teach again; the lesson is in your mind, and our students are all the people that need to receive a little more knowledge, help to develop values, skills... they are everywhere and when we find them, so wonderful to contribute to enlighten their path out of the darkness where they are living, lead by the anxiety, resentment, loneliness, hatred and ignorance in many cases justifying their mistakes.
              In Conclusion the economic crisis comes and goes in every society, and employment and unemployment are factors of balance or unbalance in a domestic and global market, as well as saving and investment factors of development and equilibrium in any country. The poverty is phenomenon social and economic, ballast rooted in the world before we had memory, but we cut some of it’s tentacles teaching someone. So an engineer could teaches the basics to build bridges, buildings, dams, etc…, a doctor, a nurse the basic to take care of sick people, a manager to administrate a business, a lawyer to interpret the laws, a mechanic, a carpenter, a handyman, a bricklayer, and you can teach someone something like how to use a computer, to cook ... anyone could teach and learn from others, and share that knowledge contributing to reduce poverty.
At this time education is a tremendous business in our society, linked to high monthly tuition and high level of indebtedness; these are reasons why not everyone is able to receive an education, and especially the ones swimming in the lake of poverty, teaching them can help to break this condition and would bring an opportunity for us to live in a better society.


Ricardo G.

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