Jaime Escalante – He Taught “Unteachable” Students to Shine!


Jaime Escalante was a Bolivian teacher who came to America in search of a better life. Once in America, he worked hard to learn English and educate himself in American teaching standards in order to succeed as a teacher in this country. Because of his struggles, Jaime understood the value of hard work and determination in achieving goals. But when he first stepped through the doors of California’s Garfield High School, Jaime didn’t know just what impact that undertstanding would have…….

As a math teacher at Garfield High School, Jaime’s challenge was huge – the school had a very low graduation rate, and many of the kids had been labeled “unteachable”. But Jaime was not willing to accept that. Instead, he started a math program with a group of students, instilled in them the value of hard work and determination, and showed them that he believed in them. The result? Most of these students passed a test that allowed them to get into Advanced Placement Calculus, one of the hardest math classes at the high school!

This video tells the amazing story of Jaime Escalante.

Additional Resources:

  • Here is an article that tells all about Jaime and his inspirational work.
  • Here is another article that tells about Jaime and the incredible success he has had!

Topics for Discussion:

  • How do you think Jaime was able to motivate his students so well?
  • Have you ever had a teacher who really believed in you, even when you struggled?

Take Action:

  • Do you know someone who struggles with a subject in school? Encourage them and see if you help them do better!
  • Visit the Teach for America website to learn more about those who teach underpriveleged kids and how you can support them!

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.

1 Comment on “Jaime Escalante – He Taught “Unteachable” Students to Shine!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

XHTML: You can use these tags <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>