Since 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.