The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I Want to be a Teacher When I Grow Up

"Mommy, I changed my mind," my son informed me on the drive home today, "I don't want to be a train conductor when I grow up. I want to be a teacher." Considering that both Marc and I are in the field of education, and considering that he plays school in his room with his toys all the time, this was not exactly a shocker... but it did make me smile.  :-)

Today in my English classes, we were doing impromptu persuasive speeches. The kids pulled topics out of a hat and then had 1 minute to prepare and 1 minute to speak on the topic they pulled. One student pulled, "The key to having a happy life is...." She declared that the key to having a happy life is doing what you love. According to my sweet 15 year old student, "You can do something you hate and make a bunch of money, or you can do something you love, regardless of the money, and be really happy; it's better to choose happiness." I give each of the students a little slip of paper with their score and my comments. On the bottom of her paper I wrote, "You are very right. It is the key to my happiness."

And it truly is. I am happy. Tired... but happy. This week is a student summit for the network of international schools that my school is a part of (ISSN). Two schools from New York brought a group of their students out here, and we have been doing activities with our students and the other two ISSN schools here in the LA area. One of my co-workers and I brought 8 students down to Inglewood last night to have dinner with the students and staff members from the other schools. We had a great Mexican food banquet at a neat little restaurant with some great charm. It was a fun night. Our students were great! They were good about not just sitting with each other, and they actually really talked to and got to know the students from the other schools. I was proud of them.

Today, our school hosted all of the schools. I basically coordinated it all, which was exhausting, but fun. The teachers went around and observed classes, while the students were paired with our students of similar grades and they went to class with these students. I had a cute little 7th grade boy in my drama class during 6th period. Turns out the kid is actually an actor who has even been on TV. There was a student absent today, so he even got to fill in for a role. I think he had fun. My favorite part of the whole day was probably at the end of the day, watching the kids run around to get phone numbers, email addresses, pictures, Facebook info, etc., from all their new friends. I think it would just be so neat if the students kept in touch with their new friends from Manhattan. :-)

I have a really cool job. I'm glad my son wants to follow in my footsteps.

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