It happened. I went “Back to School” this past Monday. That’s right I said, “Back to School” and to be more specific my first day was on August 11th with all my new students. And yes we were promised smaller class sizes and no that hasn’t happened. Surprise.
Good grief it is August and we are making kids return to school. We are sucking the fun out of summer and no one has given me a good answer why. Just when Congress goes out on their “Summer Vacation” public schools in the state of California returned to over crowded classrooms and new technological programs to make their life easier…that is of course if the internet is working.
The main challenge is to create an environment that is truly engaging and enriching. This is not easy since there are over a 180 students that come daily to my classroom with their own set of problems or not; but lets face it being a teenager can be difficult.
It is day number three and I already had two students tell me they suffer from high anxiety and cannot participate in class presentations. Another student who shared with me she needs to sit near the board because she is deaf in one ear. I said, “huh?” I had another student (who looks like she’s 25 ) constantly waving her hand in class to ask a questions.
“Um, I have two questions…”
“Oh, ask me your second question first,” I say. The class laughs together and suddenly I realize that I am enjoying myself. Its August, I’m teaching, in a classroom filled with teenagers and I am really having a meaningful experience even though I do feel overwhelmed by the logistics of it all. You know like memorizing 180 names. I don’t know how much room is left in my brain. Ultimately, I want to challenge these kids and help them grow intellectually as well as become strong critical thinkers that care about other people.
Day #4 Today after school one young freshmen confided in me, “You’re my favorite teacher. You’re the only one that smiles.” Hm.
To be continued…