Being A Teacher – By: Scarlett

ScarlettSince August of last year, I have been student-teaching just south of Atlanta, GA. I received my undergrad in Biology at UGA and really did not have much experience teaching high school let alone Title I. Very often, I am asked what do I think or how is it going with student-teaching. But, I think the real question is do I like teaching? That’s, at least, what I feel most people are asking me. Title I schools are schools where a majority of the student body qualifies for free/reduced lunch. This at least becomes a factor most lay people believe is what determines it, but really there is much more to determining whether or not a school gets special funding from the government. Regardless, these students are typically very underserved; most quality teachers do not want to teach at these schools, and that is why I want to. Because, deep down inside every students wants to learn. Now, day to day it’s like a whole different feeling. These students and I do not have the same background and were not raised the same way. Although, my old town of Milford, Mass. was pretty ghetto, we didn’t drop the N-word nonchalantly or walk around with ankle bracelets because we were under house arrest.

I really find it annoying when people ask me how I like teaching because the question is complicated. At any new job, its going to take you a while before you say, “Hey, I really hate or like this job.” Aside from that, I am student-teaching. So really it’s like I am at job where a veteran, and I share cubicle and office chair. The classroom I work in is not mine and it is very frustrating. That is why this question is complicated, because I don’t know if I like it. Some days I really hate it and think these kids are hopeless and other days I want to punch my mentor teacher and then some days its bliss and I laugh and the students laugh with me. Besides the students, parents, other teachers, and administrators make doing your job difficult. With unexpected meetings during your planning period or with parents after school, it makes for a bumpy ride. Some days I can’t decide whether I am dreading my own classroom or looking forward to it. I really want my own classroom so I can do things my way but then I don’t want to be on my own with the students yet. Hopefully, by next August I will be ready to teach. Until then, who knows my feelings between now and then?

**I student-teach in a special program that has me in the same classroom/high school from pre-planning in August to post-planning in May.

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5 thoughts on “Being A Teacher – By: Scarlett

  1. Karina - Letters of Transit says:

    I really hope you get your classroom some day soon. Your belief that all students can learn, and your desire to work with those that others have given up on is admirable. I went to one of the worst public school districts in Mass. My high school wasn’t even accredited so I can relate to some of the challenges you mention. The most difficult part of attending a Title 1 school for me as a student, was not the lack of resources, the outdated textbooks, or even the disruptive students that were clearly not there to learn. For me the most difficult part was dealing with the many teachers that clearly did not want to be there, and who obviously beleived us all to be unilaterally stupid. The best part were the good teachers, who like you, wanted to be there and beleived in our potential. Thanks to them I managed to receive a decent education, and had no problems keeping up with and even outperforming kids from private schools once I arrived in college. Had it not been for people like you, Im not sure if that would have been the case, so I really hope you maintain your positive outlook because it sounds like youll make an awesome teacher!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Bostonites says:

      I agree, Karina. One of the worst parts about working at Title I is hearing about other teachers from my students or the comments I hear other teachers say about the students. “The only reason why most of them come is to get free breakfast and lunch.” Yeah that might be the reason why they walk through the door but they perform and end up doing well because of the good teachers there. One of the hardest things for me to decide is how I want to approach teaching science to high schoolers. They know most of the work they get is bullshit. I really want to teach them inquiry, where they examine problems on their own and find solutions while learning the standards set forth from teachers. One of the main reasons they say teachers have behavioral issues in their classrooms is because the students are not getting challenged. I see that in the classroom I have. I think the a reason for some of the success I have seen is that kids see I really want them to be successful at the work they do. I constantly walk around, monitor, and speak up when I see someone not doing work as opposed to ignoring it and letting them slide between the cracks. The other point of frustration are how most of the kids who have had crappy teachers don’t know what they were supposed to know. I have freshmen who have been getting passed along for the last 8 years of school. It’s unacceptable and puts strain on the rest of us. Hopefully, when I get my own classroom I can snap these kids open so they can see the writing on the wall—they are being set up for failure if they let the system control them. – Scarlett

      Liked by 1 person

      • Karina - Letters of Transit says:

        One thing that worked very well in our school in terms of sparking an interest in math and science was the Robotics Club. We had one science teacher, who like you, wanted to help the students see that there is more to science than just theories. I saw kids that used to sit in the back of the class struggling to keep up, turn into some of the most enthusiatic participants in our chemistry and physics classes thanks to the Robotics club opening that door for them. Maybe you can try starting something like that for your kids once you get your own classroom. When you don’t have the right educational background, it is so hard to see how all the things in the books apply to your own life, particularly for children that grew up with little intellectual stimulation at home. I am honestly so glad you chose to become a teacher! We need more like you! Try to ignore the bad teachers, and trust that although it is difficult, you have the opportunity to drastically change these kids’ lives.

        Liked by 1 person

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