From the Fall Blog Challenge by Melanie Holtsman, this week’s topic is thankfulness.
Challenge: Our students and colleagues never knew us as children. What were you like at the grade you teach? What were your interests? Did you like school? Share a photo if possible.
I taught high school for most of my career so I will talk about my high school years.
During grades 7-9, I attended a junior high and high school did not start until 10th grade. My oldest sister had died that summer and we were very close so this was a traumatic time for me. I was going to a high school out of my attendance area because my assigned school was so large that they had to hold 2 shifts at one school. Knowing that education was the only way out for me, I begged my parents to let me go to the school where my sister and her family lived which was about 5 miles away from us. I was able to take the public bus from my corner right to the high school and did that for 3 years. I know it was wrong to use my sister’s address but I was desperate. The school in my area was overcrowded and over run with gangs and drugs so I needed to get away from there.
It was very scary starting the first day at a new school but I was glad to see some people that I knew from my church youth group. They immediately took me under their wings and made my life so much easier. I ended up having a best friend, Bunny, who stuck with me all three years. Never one for cliques, I had many different friends from many different groups. I also became very involved in the drama club and worked backstage for every production that was done over the three years. And I remember being a “mathlete” and was part of a math competition team for our high school.
For some reason I had gotten further ahead of everyone and ended up taking all AP classes during my senior year. I took AP Calculus, AP English, AP Biology, and AP French and then was given an early dismissal since there was nothing else I could take. Since I planned on going to an out of state private college, I knew those AP courses would save me a ton of money so I studied furiously and passed all my tests with flying colors.
I felt very overprotected by my family since I was the youngest and was very determined to leave home and go very far away. I think I was so focused on studying and leaving town that I didn’t make a lot of deep friendships during high school. Even though I had many friends who were acquaintances, the only friend I stayed in touch with after high school was Bunny. Now that I look back, I guess I was in the group that would be labeled Nerds today. I wasn’t part of the popular group or any special group and stayed more to myself or on the edge of a lot of different groups.
I think that is why I understand students who don’t fit in with a crowd or are different. I remember being that student and how I felt. I hope my experience during those times can help a student who is going through the same thing.
Do you feel your experiences as a student made a difference in your actions as a teacher? If so, please share.
Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).
Original image: 'the professor is six minutes late'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/55779593@N00/127023370 by: Jonathan Pobre