Tag Archives: Erin Gruwell

We don’t need no education…

It’s strange to think that I’m actually here but as of now I have 10 days left of my internship.  5 days left of teaching, as far as I know.  I have such mixed feelings.  On the one hand, I’ve been so busy over the last couple of weeks that I’m looking forward to having that thing we call a life again.  On the other hand, I don’t want to leave.  Like, really don’t want to leave.

For the first month, maybe even longer, I had serious doubts.  I wasn’t very happy and I really did not want to teach.  I figured I would simply get through it but that it was definitely not what I wanted anymore.  Somewhere along the line, without me noticing, that changed.  I no longer felt like I was someplace I shouldn’t be and I started enjoying it.  I think I just fell into the role, finally and got used to it.  Not that there haven’t been A LOT of ups and downs along the way but I like what I’m doing.  I like it a lot.  I want to stay.

So, there’s the problem.  I want to STAY.  Not just in the field but at THAT school.  I don’t want to go anywhere else.  Ultimately, it’s going to boil down to taking what I can get, I suppose, but I want to be there.  And I don’t want to leave MY students.  I want to know what they’re doing and that they’re doing well and all that stuff.  But, in two weeks, I’m done and I have to say good-bye and I already know how hard it’s going to be because of the tightening in my chest when I think about it.   So that’s where I am, the end which is also a beginning.

I start graduate work basically NOW.  I’m going to be getting a Master of Education in Critical Studies.  My course officially starts on Monday.  I think I may be stretching myself a bit thin right now but I can make it work.  This is something I really want even though I didn’t know it until this year.  I think it’s something I will be good at and it’s definitely something I find interesting and fascinating.

Yesterday I went to an education conference.  It was really very good.  It sounds like something that should be boring “education conference”, however it was something I’m really thankful that I got to attend.  The first speaker was Erin Gruwell (Freedom Writers – you know, the movie with Hilary Swank) and I really liked hearing what she had to say.  I really wish I could have met her.  I’m very sorry I didn’t try to get to her book signing even if I had no book with me for her to sign.  I have The Freedom Writers Diary but it was home.  I wanted to buy another of her books but they had nothing when I went to Chapters today…  After that was Alfie Kohn (The Homework Myth) and he was also very interesting.  I liked what he had to say and I agree with the things he said.  I was always a good student throughout school and I hated homework, it was boring, I wanted to do other things and I would rush through it so that it would be behind me and I could get on with my evening.  If, as a good student, that’s how I felt, then I can only imagine how those who stuggle felt/feel.  And in my opinion, it’s just not worth the headache when it doesn’t get done.  The last speaker that I heard was Harry Wong (The First Days of School) and he was incredibly funny and very interesting.

I think my only complaint about the conference was that in one room they had a lot of booths where people were selling different educational materials and at least 80% of it was geared to elementary and middle school.  I would have liked to have seen more “stuff” for high school teachers.  But, seeing as I’m merely a student at this point (though I am hired on with the school district as a supply and will be able to start doing that when my internship ends), I can’t really say too much.  It’s not like I even have money to buy anything!

My other complaint wasn’t with the conference but rather with the attendees.  As teachers we tend to get angry with our students when they talk while we’re trying to teach, or their cell phones go off, or they pack up before the bell.  So why then, in a group full of teachers, while people were trying to present, were people talking?  Why were cell phones going off?  Why were people getting up and leaving to avoid the rush before lunch when the speaker wasn’t finished?  It was such rude behaviour and I expect more from adults, especially from teachers.  I guess I was just raised to be polite and when someone is speaking, I am not talking, I do not have my cell phone on and I don’t get up and leave before they’re finished.  At the very least, people who wanted to talk could have gotten up and went to another area in the arena.  That would have been far less rude than talking and making it hard for me to hear.

These people who presented are examples of how great teachers can be.  The people who were talking and leaving before someone was finished will never be great teachers.  That’s the irony I suppose.  If you can’t sit and listen to what someone accomplished has to say, you’ll never be as accomplished.  I hope someday I can say that I’ve accomplished great things but until then, I’m going to shut up and listen when someone is trying to pass their wisdom on to me!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Education