Teaching has called to me ever since I was three years old. My favorite game was "School." My brother and I would build a school house made out of Legos and our Star Wars action figures would be the students. Barbie was the teacher, of course. I was always a bossy girl, stickling everyone on how things should best be said, or done. I cannot say this made me a popular girl. It is actually ironic that I behaved liked this as I was quite shy in most settings. I always knew I would be a teacher. I knew that I would be like my favorite teachers, Mr. Bressan and Mr. Davis, both outside-the-box pseudo-hippies who broke rules all of the time. They did not use worksheets. We read and drew and journaled and talked and sat under the cherry blossom trees outside; it was glorious. I thought I would be a teacher who could enlighten my students to think the right way, to help mold liberal-minded, young adults who would create an idyllic society where everyone had a say (just as long as it was the right say).
I graduated college when I was 19 years old, obviously not yet old enough to teach anyone anything useful. By the time I became a teacher seven years later I wanted to simply help students learn to read, write, and think critically. I thought this was the best way to help them be productive citizens. I soon learned that this was not going to be as easy as I thought it would be. Over the last decade my mindset on teaching has changed. Teaching is showing children how to use their voice: to express themselves, to stop injustices, to make connections.
Teaching is difficult. With the exception of physical labor, I believe teaching has to be the hardest profession there is. But, if we simplify our goal so that teaching is to help students be their best selves, and we show them that we care about what happens to them, then our objective we be more easily reached. Start small, dream big.
I intend this blog to be a reflection journal of sorts, on topics such as teaching, leadership, pedagogy, and tacos.