When a job falls into your lap, you generally take it. That's how it was for teaching. Being in grad school is great, except for the fact that I can't really work a regular job because I have to shadow a counselor one day a week for 30 weeks of the year. No real job would ever give me that kind of time off. So that's why Uber became my main source of income. But recently, I've upgraded from chauffeur to high school art teacher. Yes, you read that right. Ms. Minor, Art History and Art 1 in room 203. Before I dive into how I got into this position in the first place, I have to give credit where credit is due and say that I APPLAUD teachers, more specifically, high school teachers, and even MORE specifically high school teachers in an urban public school.
When people say you never understand unless you're in the shoes, you truly do not understand. I didn't grow up in a fancy school by any means. Western Wayne was full of kids from every aspect of life, like people drove tractors to school and wore camo to prom but also drove nice cars and came from significant amounts of money. There were all kinds of walks of life in my school, but by no means did we experience life the way I have in the past 24 hours in an Urban school.
I took a long-term subbing position in high school because, to be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of elementary kids. I didn't want to spend my days picking boogers and dealing with kids who pee themselves sometimes, I wanted to have older kids who were easy to relate to and didn't need to learn the ABC's. I honestly had no idea what to truly expect on day 1. Like I knew that it was going to be a little tougher than I was used to. I read the stats of the demographics online and prepared myself mentally, but you truly don't get it until day 1.
I'm in this placement until December and I am truly excited to make a difference in some of these kids lives. It will be a true learning experience for them and myself and on the second day of school I already have an appreciation for what these kids have gone through in life. I've learned about their backgrounds and their history through a simple intro activity and know that these kids will teach me so much about culture and diversity that I didn't get growing up in the cornfields. The kids who want to learn, want to be here, and want to graduate will make an effort. And the ones that don't? Then they won't.
Some of these kids are athletes, mathletes, and I even have a few who are parents. But they are all here to get an education, to graduate, and to get out of the city and make a life for themselves. And for that, I applaud them. Over the next few months, if I learn nothing at all, I want to feel humbled by these kids. I am a notebook page in a page full of scribbles. I have zero education background with the exception of a few of my master's classes. But I am here to teach these kids some damn art. When I leave this classroom in December, I can only hope that a minimum of one student is moved by Ms. M and that they think back on this class like I reflect back to my high school classes.
I'd like to apologize to all the subs that we tortured in school.. specifically Mr. Savage, who definitely didn't deserve to be treated the way we treated him in 8th grade math. Now that I'm in these shoes, I realize just how cruel kids can be. But all I can hope for them is that they realize that long before it took me to realize it. Don't take the way you were raised or the way you live life for granted. People have it way worse than you and I do and that's a fact. When we think a bad day is having your new car get hit or smashing your iPhone screen, these kids are finding out they're pregnant at 14 or loosing a friend or parent on the street. Have a little compassion and be somebody's friend because you might be the only person that smiles at them all day...
Author - mallory
I've always lived a wild life, so here I am to document it for the world... be ready for some fun adventures, xoxo.