Things I learned from teaching.
It takes a lot of patience and understanding, especially working in a public inner city school.
I can honestly say I like kids, teenagers are cool people. It’s awesome seeing all the different personalities and how each one learns but some of them? They come to class every single day with the same attitude until they realize it doesn’t bother me. The principal always asks me if I want to switch them out of my class, but I don’t. I don’t because you never know what’s going with kids and why they are who they are until you earn their trust. I learn some things from them too.
One kid spent the majority of the class period cussin me out under his breath because I actually make him do work. I found out later he and his step father get into fights all the time and he was getting beat at home. I would probably cuss out someone too if I had all that anger in me. He’s now one of my best students after we spoke. Telling a kid that if they graduate at the top of the class and get into a good college they can have a world of opportunities open to them they never dreamt of can really motivate them. Most of them don’t have people at home telling them what college can do for them.
What I learned from him: Anger stems from a lot of different, and serious issues at times. We can’t throw all kids into a category of “bad” or “misbehaved” without evaluating what it is that causes them to act out in the first place. The problem may be bigger than you imagine.
One kid lost his pen/pencil every class, every 5 minutes so that he can say, “I didn’t get it done because I didn’t have anything to write with!” Found out later his dad is overseas in Iraq and ever since he left, he’s been avoiding everything. That struck a cord with me because I lost my father at a young age.After speaking to him and his mother, he brings his own writing utensils. Now I just have to get him to use it for more than just writing his name on the paper.
What I learned from him: We all have different ways of dealing with things or not dealing with them. We need to take the time out to reach out to one another, maybe you’ll heal something within you as well.
One came to class high every day and complained that I didn’t have snacks so he couldn’t work. I now bring him a Cosmic brownie, honey bun and a soda every day. His mom spends every cent of their food money on drugs and his dad was killed in a gang war. Apparently I’m now “the coolest arab dude”. Not true, but he does work a lot more when he’s eating.
What I learned from him: The person you trust to take care of you the most may turn their back on you. When that happens, you want to turn your back on the world. Having someone reach out to you may be the turning point in your life.
Another uses the class period as a nap break between study hall and lunch. It’s not because he’s lazy, it’s because he works 2 jobs to take care of his brothers and sisters. We worked it out so that I give him all the work for the week and he just turns it in on Friday afternoon. He hasn’t missed a packet yet. He also still uses that class as nap time. I don’t care though.
What I learned from him: Sometimes the person that seems not to care about anything is actually caring for more than you can imagine. Their struggle just isn’t something they advertise because they aren’t looking for handouts but it never hurts to go to them with your hands out. Give them the opportunity and they will soar.
I remember high school clearly, it wasn’t that long ago. I remember each and every teacher I had, the ones that I hated because they didn’t do anything but make my life miserable (fond memories) and the ones that I hated but now appreciate because they made my life miserable by pushing me all throughout school.
I don’t mind being the teacher some kids hate for now but will remember or maybe even thank later for pushing them further than they thought they could go. I want to see the people I invest my time in go places, especially when I know they have every skill to get there.
Looking back at this I really miss working in a public school. I learned much more from those kids.
tagged as: personal
Reblogged from thesmallestactofkindness
Originally posted by thesmallestactofkindness
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