Reflections of My 1st Teaching Experience

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Reflecting on my first semester teaching at what some people would consider one of the worst schools in New Orleans, I feel like a survivor. There were many days I wanted to quit, but I had no peace and I kept coming. I was afraid. Afraid that I was unequipped to be with my students needed. Many times I was there before the sun, on the weekends and on holidays. The children I worked with were difficult to say the least but many of them were in difficult situations. And though often times the energy of that building was depressing, those students were survivors too. Sometimes I couldn’t sleep thinking about my students. They were tough. They were strong. They were fighters. Fighting to survive at home and unfortunately fighting to survive at a school that subjectively seem to be set up to perpetuate the status quo. My kids were fighting for attention. Fighting for consistency. Fighting to be respected and ultimately to be loved.

 

While working with my students I experienced stress, depression, and a loss of energy. I gained an invaluable experience, a motivation, a resilience and an understanding that I was unaware of before. I learned that the system was flawed. I learned that there were many teachers that were worn out, miserable and negative. And lets not mention the politics involved.  Though we have to deal with a lot as teachers, we still have beautiful students facing unimaginable circumstances that deserve everything we have to give them, especially our love and our positivity. There were times it seemed the kids hated you and completely opposed structure, but the fact is you have no idea what they deal with when the exit those school doors. I just hope that there was something I did or said that let them know that they were loved, there was hope for the future and they had greatness within them.

 

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