Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hangin' With the Right People

As I sat at a table with 4 Ph.D.'s and one graduate student I thought to myself, "Self, you are in a good place right now." As much as I feel like I'm spinning my tires and am going no where with my life I feel that it's all about who you spend your time with, and what you're doing with that time.

Yes, teaching kids how to read is not my ideal job. And making more than a few hundred dollars here and there is not the best situation. But when it all boils down, I'm pretty darn lucky to be sitting at that table.

It was a full circle moment for me. I work with inner city kids 50hrs a week. Kids that just like me grew up on the East Side, attended public school, and have more than just homework thrown at them each day. I was one of the lucky ones though. I went to college, got a degree and have the support of my family to be able to work dead end part time jobs until I go to graduate school. Will my students ever be sitting at a table with 4 Ph.D.'s talking about the importance of the Redfeld Ratio? My hopes for them are yes. The reality probably isn't the same.

I think that is what I'm most frustrated with right now. No matter how hard I work. No matter how good I am at teaching them to read. Is it really enough? Will I be the reason they are able to get into college? Or will all of my time be wasted?

Everyone is always talking about closing the achievement gap, and I totally agree that this needs to happen. But how is it possible to close the gap without the support of parents? I can't be both a teacher and a loving supportive adult role model. I feel like I'm not the only person that feels they are being spread to thin when it comes to educating America's youth.

I guess what I'm trying to say is be thankful for what you have, even if it's not your ideal situation, because a lot of people never even got the opportunity to be where you are standing.

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