Despite the unpleasant summer I had, it will not deter my dreams of becoming a teacher. This summer was just a minor set back. I know that teaching is my passion because even though I had the worst summer of my life I still want to teach, I still want to learn, and I still want to grow. In fact after reflecting, I want to be a teacher more than ever because I know what keeps me going, I know why I do this.
The answer to why I do this is simple. I do it for my students, my old students, my new students, and most of all my future students. If I give up after one bad summer, what kind of example would I be setting? Deep down I know this summer made me stronger. I learned that a classroom, a school, or any work environment would never be perfect. But because they are not perfect it does not mean that I do not deserve support or that I have to put up with uncomfortable situations and degrading instances. A lot of the times this summer I felt like I couldn’t speak up about a lot of things because I am a young professional and no one would take me seriously. However, I was wrong. Nothing should ever stop me from speaking up and demanding what I deserve. This terrible summer has taught me to respect and value myself as a professional by teaching me to speak up when I do not feel good about what’s going on around me.
Why do I teach? Why do I keep going? At this point, not only for my students, but also for myself. How can I ever advocate for my students without advocating for myself? How can students look up to me if I sometimes think my thoughts would have no value? Teaching is all about trial and error, feedback, and constant adjustments. One summer is never going to stop me from wanting to be a teacher. Instead I should look back at this summer as an error to continuously work on.
I can never stop wanting to be a teacher, I have students that will depend on me, I have students to push and inspire, and most of all I have students to learn from. Teaching is my passion and I can only hope to continue to learn and grow to bring the best me forward for my students and for myself.
So what now after this summer? …
Well I’m not sure yet. I am currently studying abroad in Akita Japan. But in a few months it will be time to apply for a new summer job. I don’t think I can return to breakthrough for my own good. I love my students and they begged me to return, but I also love myself. I realized have out grown the Breakthrough summer teaching fellowship and need to find a new job that will help take my career where I need to be.
Therefore, this fall when I start looking for a new job I would need to find an organization that matches my believes and will allow me to grow everyday. This time I will learn from my mistakes and use the resources that are around me. I am planning to keep in contact with someone from Dickinson’s career center in order to make sure that what I am doing is that right fit for me. This summer I made a lot of mistakes; my biggest one being not communicating with the people who would have my back no matter what happened, the INP staff.
So in short, my next step is to have a fresh start and find a job I would love doing everyday no matter the obstacles. I need a job that fits the new stage in career and life I am in.
At the end of the summer Breakthrough teaching fellows, IC, and staff do presentations of growth. POGs are meant to help you reflect on your time at breakthrough and how you have changed or grown. Last summer I made a video for my growth presentation. However this summer, I decided to just write down my thoughts and verbally share them.
Here is my POG:
This summer was more challenging than I was expecting. This summer was the complete opposite of last summer. It is hard to not compare last summer to this summer when last summer I had everything. A lot of my mornings this summer it was hard to get up and come to work and it wasn’t because of the kids or my co workers. It was the fact that I was not given the support I need.
The best part of last summer was being able to grow everyday. learn from my mistakes and make adjustment the next day. I felt like I was making the right steps to become the teacher I dreamed of becoming. This summer I can’t say the same.
In fact, writing this POG is very difficult for me because I couldn’t think of ways in which I grew and it is very hard to turn it positive like I have been advised to do but i guess if i have grown some how it is because of the difficult situations I encountered this summer.
If anything I can I strengthen my problem solving skills by making adjustments and making important decisions without the support of someone to troubleshoot for me.
I guess the biggest thing i can take away this summer is that sometimes as a teacher i am not going to have the support of the people above me. I am going to have to deal with difficult situations and difficult people and put up with it.
This summer has been the most uncomfortable i have ever felt. Not even the problematic white people at my school have made me feel the way i have. I felt like my problems this summer were minimal and not worth immediate action. Nothing was being done to support me in the way that i should have been.
The lack of support I received then came into my classroom and my interactions with the kids. My one regret this summer is being too wrapped up my feelings and all my issues, that I didn’t have the time to be fully engaged with my kids.
It has nothing to do with my responsibility as grade team leader, with my students, or co-workers. I just wasn’t able to do an IC’s Job the whole summer. I need feedback to grow. I need support to grow. I need an appropriate environment to grow. This summer this has not been the environment to promote my growth.