I love teaching but I hate it. Teaching has to be the hardest careers in the world. To my family though, it’s glorified like reflective image with clouds beaming into the water. Or an image of a skyline that never ends. Teaching somehow has a magical effect on others mentality but here I am sitting in front of a laptop on a Sunday night. This feeling is far from magical.
I just finished curating lessons for the week. I wish some would have told me that teaching involves nights and weekends. The idea of having vacations and summers off was the main reason why teaching seemed so attractive. To my realization, teachers do not have a real vacation. We are always creating lessons and grading papers. I’m even planning on using the majority of my summer preparing for the fall. So instead of riding up the Hudson to snap photos of Bear Mountain or Manhattan’s skyline, I’ll be on a laptop writing. What a life?
What a life indeed and that’s why reflection is important. One of the questions that I often ask myself is “What did I do right?” It’s so much easier to envision what I’ve done wrong. Being a second year teacher, I’m still learning a lot about what it means to be a pedagogy. I’m way better than last year but far from where I want to be. At times I fumble and I envision all the mishaps that happened but not necessarily the successes but I will try to today.
It’s easy to fumble when your me. I’ve been fumbling since grade school. I’m an American Born Arab, Yemeni American, and Muslim American. If you haven’t already noticed, I’m a complicated person. However, I am a perfect match for the school that I teach in. I’m an English teacher at an International Academy in Brooklyn. 65 percent of the students are ELLs and a large portion are from Yemen, my parents homeland. All of my classes are Integrated ENL (English as a new Language) with 99 percent of my students being Yemeni immigrants. I couldn’t be anymore happier than teaching kids who look like me, talk like me (well not exactly but still), and think like me. We share so much in common and I’m proud to be there with them, leading them into the future. This is what I love about teaching.
However, there are a lot of difficulties for me. I didn’t go to school to be an ESL teacher. At times I just want to just read novels and discuss the author’s rhetoric. However, my students need time, patience, a lot of patience actually, and differentiated instruction. Thankfully, I work with an amazing team of co-teachers and we come up with great lessons for the students but it can still be a struggle with teaching because of the vast levels of English comprehension in each class.
So once again, what did I get myself into? With success comes failure. Some days I’m a shooting star and other days I’m a car wreck, even with the help of co-teachers. I realized that teaching is not just a job, but a rather I’m a community builder. We build lives and that is a real struggle. We take different kids and build them up although at times we barely have enough energy to build our selves up. We give all of our energy to make other lives better. I realize what I got into and I love it but teaching takes time, patience, and a lot of reflection.
Reflect upon the good, the bad, and the ugly. Take all of those factors together and use it as an resource in making better lessons and stronger students. So, do I regret working on my laptop on a Sunday night knowing how much importance my career has on our community? That’s debatable lol but most often not I love it.
Categories: Photo Discovery