Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Who was I? (511)

I was both a nerd and a rebel in high school. For the most part, I’ve always been a high achiever. Earning good grades was always important to me. In addition, I’ve always had an innate curiosity for learning and understanding how things work. Part of this is my innate personality but a large part has been influenced by my parents. My mom was a teacher, and my dad a doctor. Education was a priority to both of them, and this was imprinted on me at an early age. I’ve always been diligent about doing homework, to the point where my mom would have to tell me to stop doing homework and go to bed.

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.

Hoerr, T. (2011). Who were you?. Educational Leadership, 68(6), 89-90. Retrieved from¢.aspx

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