Teacher in America

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Final Paper

My Call To Action

More than ever, I believe that my place is in the classroom. I have now completed two and a half years of teaching and have had a lot of emotions and questions running through me. Sometimes they made me question whether I should be in the classroom or not. I mean, how can I be a teacher and have all these negative thoughts and feelings about how our school system works. I thought I was alone in feeling this way. However, from the readings, reflections and discussions during the course of this class, I have now realized I am not alone in feeling this way. In fact, most teachers have the same apprehensions that I share. One major thing I have noticed since becoming a teacher is how my views on education have changed. Before I became a teacher I assumed things about teaching that are not at all correct. I thought that when I became a teacher, it would be really easy. After all, my teachers (and mother) made it seem fairly easy. I was completely wrong. I thought I would be able to stand up there, teach and every single student would understand what I would be teaching. I thought all the students would do their work, behave and listen to me. Boy was I mistaken. There are so many different learning styles that I have to accommodate for, different activities I have to come up with in order to spark the students’ interests, and behaviors I never dreamed I would have to deal with. I am only into my third year of teaching I have been teaching for only three years, and each year I have had to make changes to accommodate the types of students I have. Some teachers assume the students will be the same every year and do not make changes at all. The learning process for each individual student is different. For some, it comes easier, for others it can be might be a little more difficult. ‘Teachers who develop classroom plans based solely on beliefs and expectations born of their own life experiences are likely to be ineffective (Hinchey Pg. 23).’ Most of us became teachers because somewhere in our past we had a really good experience with school and our teachers. Just because what we experienced was good does not necessarily mean that the same exact thing would work with our students today. I know that I catch myself looking back to when I was the same age as my students. I am often trying to do things with my students that my teachers did with me. Not surprisingly, a lot of them are not working as I thought they would. Before my first day of teaching, I had certain expectations for my students. Starting off with the same expectations that my teachers had for me is not feasible where I teach. ‘Most public school teachers come from significantly different cultures than their students (Hinchey pg. 27).’ I know I have had to completely adjust my way of thinking in the classroom because my educational experience is the complete opposite of what I teach. When I was a student, my friends and I had complete support from adults in our lives. Today, my students hardly have any adults around them outside of school guiding them in the right direction. When I was in high school, there was no question about receiving your high school diploma and going to college. In my community, a high school diploma alone was not good enough, you needed to get that college degree. In the district I work in, the atmosphere is different. In Waukegan, people act like earning the high school diploma is golden. One big assumption of mine that has changed in my short three years of teaching is thinking all students are the same outside of school. When I was growing up, it seemed that my life and my friends’ lives where all the same. Consequently, I grew up assuming that everyone lives where a mirrored image of mine. Teaching opened my eyes up to see how wrong I was. I have some students who come from a loving home with two working parents, and then I also have some students who are homeless...
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