I have made it through my first two weeks of teaching. These past 10 days have been some of the most educational for me, although probably not for my students. Already I have realized that my life is worlds apart from most of my students. My educational experience in the Catholic school system, surrounded by amazing teachers, and empowering peers differs so greatly from the experience of my students. My understanding of what it is like to attend a high poverty school in which violence, drugs, and inefficiency seem overshadow positive forces, is slowly being revealed. One of my most significant realizations in the past two weeks is how my lack of understanding of many of my students has prevented me from reaching them. I know that they are all capable but I seem to have no knowledge of how to invest them in their own work. My constant pleas that failing in my class literally means not graduating from high school seems to fall on deaf ears. I do not know if it is because I am so different from my students that so many resist my call to meet their potential. Or, is it that my understanding of why education is important does not mesh with their life experiences?
I have a lot more to learn.