7 Times Jaime Escalante Taught His Students About the Importance of ‘Ganas’


This week, the U.S. Postal Service is unveiling a Forever Stamp in recognition of Jaime Escalante’s life’s work. To celebrate this occasion, we are sharing 7 things this passionate teacher taught us about the importance of will, or in his own words, the importance of ‘Ganas.’

1. That time he taught his students about the importance of being yourself, and owning it:


2. That time he reminded us that we need to stop
worrying, and start doing:


3. It wasn’t just about the academics, but about the hard lessons too:


4. Or when he needed no sugar-coating to his real talk:


5. The time he didn’t give up on his students and held them to a higher bar:


6. Every time he asked all the right questions:


7. Or when he nailed it in 6 succinct, but oh-so powerful words:

Jaime Escalante’s passion, determination, high expectations for the students he taught, and unrelenting belief in the limitless potential of all young people, regardless of their background, created one of the greatest success stories in modern education history. Many of Jaime’s former students persevered through difficult circumstances to become highly successful, nationally renowned experts in their fields. He demonstrated that success is attainable—even under the most difficult circumstances—for every student.

His teaching showed us that success in the classroom—even under the most challenging circumstances—is possible for everyone if we remain steadfast in our commitment to our students. With the unveiling of the Forever Stamp in his honor, this legacy will continue to live on.


  1. Sadly, I have never heard the name Jaime Escalante during my studies in education, so I Googled him. It is no surprise that the US Postal Service is honoring him with a stamp. His life exemplified the messages given to his students, and these messages are just as true today. Lead by example, ask the right questions, and set your expectations high – students will rise to the occasion!!

  2. The life of dedicated leadership is a vital component of continuing their work in the present when given the fact, that we the future is created by the honest, sincere work we do now.

  3. Why is ED posting so much about Jaime Escalante? He was a proponent of education, but completely against bilingual education–which is something the ED advocates for. Or is the ED trying to throw subtle anti-bilingual education signals???

  4. “We do not do anything by ourselves. There is always someone to ask, how do I do this?”

    Do not be afraid to ask.

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