Teaching to learn
Some serious pencil shavings
I didnt know what I was entering into when I began to focus on education… more specifically urban education.. I was disillusioned in that I could single-handedly make the changes necessary to change the course of a young person’s life completely. I do not know if it was my desire or sense of purpose to uphold social justice…that urged me to go into urban ed. However, I do know that going into urban ed has given me a certain sense of reality and humanity that cannot be found in any office cubicle, graduate level course, or tear-jerking documentary. It really is one of those professions that throws you into the fire in the way that it shakes you, moves you, pushes you, and truly tests you in everything that you do and believe in. I found that gradually my will and power to advocate for my student weakened due to the emotional and psychological demands teaching requires. I knew that each and every one of my students carried some kind of baggage and had skeletons in their closets. I believed they were too young to feel the weight of such mental stress. But that was completely wrong of me to have made that assumption. I learned quickly that to teach these kids effectively, the teacher must be a master of how the social world works. It is entirely a social establishment- the classroom. The exchange of words, knowing what students will do before they even do it.
I’ve decided to go a different route with my blogs pertaining to my career and passions. Briefly glancing at my old blog, I’ve realized how superficial it was. My “secret” obsessions with anime, fashion, and games have sidetracked me in what I really want to discuss. Let’s face the fact that being a teacher automatically makes me a white, middle-class female. I want to look at teaching… the world of education, hand sanitizers, and pencil shavings in a way that both critically analyzes and celebrates the direction America ed is and has been taking. Into my second year of teaching and I have to say that I came to the realization, while sharpening 40+ pencils, that I need to share my concerns, experiences, and hopes. All those damned pencil shavings curled into delicate strips… are like the indiscriminate events that happen in the classroom. The chaos, the frustrations, fun, and enlightening events that culminate into one somewhat manageable way of life. Following me would be a willingness to believe in the need for change.