Today is indeed a sad day for the world of education; however, if you have never heard the story of Jaime Escalante or you think your English skills are not improving as fast as you would like them and feel like giving up??? Then you need some Ganas and to know about Jaime Escalante! (this is also a great true story if you have/know a child who has difficulties in school).

Jaime A. Escalante, the most famous and influential American public-school teacher of his generation, died March 30 of cancer at his son's home near Sacramento. His inspiring story gained fame in the 1988 film "Stand and Deliver" but in later years he struggled to duplicate his earlier successes. Stand and Deliver is a 1988 American drama film. The film is a dramatization based on a true story of a dedicated high school mathematics teacher Jaime Escalante. Edward James Olmos portrayed Escalante in the film and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his role.
Mr. Escalante went along with his wife's plan, but he was frustrated to discover upon arriving [in the U.S.] that his Bolivian credentials would not get him a job in any U.S. school. He spent 10 years learning English and repeating his undergraduate education and teacher training, mostly at night and during the summers, before he was accepted as a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
So, what is Ganas? Ganas translates loosely from Spanish as “desire,” or the “wish to succeed”
Quote Originally Posted by Jaime Escalante
I tell my students, “The only thing you need to have for my program – and you must bring it every day – is ganas.” If motivated properly, any student can learn mathematics. Kids are not born as bad students; however, the school and the student’s home and community environment can combine to produce a bad student.

"In my classroom I have a banner with "ganas." It means "desire." And you have to have that desire. Ganas is when the motivation begins. That word is a strong word in my original language.
Last week I had the opportunity to meet Jay Mathews, the Washington Post writer who broke the story about Jaime Escalante and wrote the 1988 book "Escalante: The Best Teacher in America" If it had not been for Mr. Mathews, there would never had been a "Stand and Deliver" movie and most likely no one would have ever heard of Jaime Escalante. Stand and Deliver is a great movie! They actually showed the movie to the kids at my daughter's school just last week. I found a link to it on StageVu

You can read more about Jaime Escalante:

You can read and listen to these stories in English:
Teacher Portrayed in 'Stand And Deliver' Dies

Jaime Escalante's Legacy: Teaching Hope

Students 'Stand And Deliver' For Former Teacher

Now, go and get some GANAS, practice your English and if you need help... ASK!