If I had a theme song for how my life has been going so far, I would immediately choose “Knuck If You Buck” and “F.A.V.O.R” by Kirk Franklin.
(How about making a mashup of the two, lol)
As happy as I am to be exploring a new city as a resident, as well as connecting with so many new souls, summer school took the top of my extrovert meter. (I have to recharge by myself so much, I thought my friends and family felt neglected a little).
At least ten times in one two-hour class block, I make this face:
It is then followed by this face:
To be followed by this face
Honestly, I hope I was not a pain in the butt to my teachers in 9th and 10th grade, and if I was, I owe them because WHEW CHILE! My kids think they have all the answers (even when I have the answer sheet in my hand). But I’m grateful for the group I have because some of these horror stories from others are UNACCEPTABLE.
Granted, I get the eye rolls and the under the breath comments, but I always tell my kids “Your choices reflect in your grade” and at first they thought summer school would be a BREEZEEEE!
But when they saw that their grades were reflecting what they were doing in class, they soon realized that this was far from game. Which leads to this face
Below are my responses
Now, I have seen some great improvement in my students, but this teaching thing is no joke for other reasons.
- Some people have a savior complex when these kids can see that they are just trying to collect a check or say they have worked in underprivileged areas. (I roll my eyes at least three times a day at teachers).
- Diversity and Inclusion Work: As a black woman, there are some things I will never have the privilege of knowing or experiencing for the time being. But to hear some people with college degrees say some things they are saying makes me want to fight (but I don’t because then my momma would fight me). Pro Tip: check your privilege at the door, but remember experiences vary from person to person.
- Being in TFA is interesting because the “wokeness” and privilege awareness vary so greatly it makes you wonder what people’s interview process was like. (I was reminded that all skinfolk aint kinfolk, and that some privileged folks, a.k.a the whites, are strong allies)
- I guess people are scared of the children, but want the keys to success how to get them to respect you. Well I told my students, I respect you. You respect me. But that also means setting boundaries and keeping them there. Kids see one bend in the rules and run with it. Not in my room. But then again, why are you scared of a 14 year old? #QTNA
- Kids realize how you act. If you speak to one but not the other, they notice that. That’s why I make it my business to bother them in the morning when they don’t want to talk and leave my phone in my classroom and silence my Apple Watch. Small steps= huge steps (plus I talk to the same people all the time. We all at work/school).
All in all: summer school was a beast (my kids got me a card with all their signatures so I guess they didn’t hate me), but I’m grateful for all of them. I am more excited to have my own classroom because 180 days of school will be a lot better than summer school right?