We moved from California to Virginia during my sophomore year of high school. Overly strict parents and the chance to start out fresh instigated a rebellion and personality change that I adopted for a few years. I began wearing dark clothing, combat boots, and painting my fingernails black. I started hanging out with the “bad” kids. I didn’t care about school; I was more concerned with socializing.
As an adult, I appreciate the wide range of experiences I’ve had as a teenager. As a teacher, it will help me relate to my students, from the over-achievers to the rebels. The teens disillusioned with school that have “checked-out” are the hardest to reach. However, I can empathize because I’ve been there. I remember how difficult high school and my teenage years were for me. I was full of anxiety, low self esteem, and occupied with forming an identity. Being able to relate to my students will make me a much more effective teacher because I will be able to reach them on an emotional level, as well as an academic one. I hope to not only be able to teach my students about biology, but also help mentor them through the tough teenage years.
The students I have the toughest time with are the ones who just don't care. The apathy is hard to shatter. Even in my rebellious days, I still did my homework and earned good grades. I don't understand how someone can just not do their assigned work, or be content to fail. If I can't convince them that the work is important and that the class is important, I have no way to reach those students. For these students, I try to design the material so that it's interesting and relevant to them personally.
References:Hoerr, T. (2011). Who were you?. Educational Leadership, 68(6), 89-90. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar11/vol68/num06/Who-Were-You¢.aspx