I wasn’t entirely sure what I was getting myself into this summer when I chose to pack up my stuff and fly across the country to Illinois to work with students on the south side of Chicago. To be honest, I don’t know what I was looking for either. I had been substitute teaching for the past couple of months in Career and Technical classrooms – specifically in Media Production and Computer Programming – I didn’t really have a plan for the summer and this opportunity came it up so I figured, why not? I always figured I would end up teaching, so getting any kind of classroom experience seemed like a good idea. What I got was Higgins Community Academy. I would love to tell you my experience was 100% positive. It wasn’t. But it wasn’t 100% negative either. It was more or less somewhere in the middle. But, before I continue, I do want to say that, good or bad, it will go down as one of my favorite summer jobs.
I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m complaining. I’m not. I am reporting observations in the hopes that maybe it’ll get better or be different for the next person. This is my opinion on what I experienced. The two other VISTA associates at this school probably have completely different things to say.. Although, Tess and I shared most of the following situations and thoughts.
Now, I have a problem with authority when it gets to the point when I think I can do a better job than my superior. In my opinion management should be one, two, or even three steps ahead of everyone else. In this case I felt like we were all on the same page. The same unorganized page. I didn’t know what to expect even after the first week let alone the second or third. To me, this seems to be a disservice. A disservice to the staff, students, and the community. The other issue I had with management was the lack of interest in the staff. We are only working here a short time, but I still feel like you could take the time to know what are my strengths and weakness so that you know where I...
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