Teaching Epiphanies

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 02 2011

Go ahead, make my day.

Last year, while walking my students to music class, I overheard one of the most amazing teacher one liner. A fourth grade student had just cursed out four female teachers (four very strong and resilient Bronx women), and was now wandering the hall. Mr. R (the only male teacher in the whole school) stepped out of his classroom, crossed his arms in the middle of the hallway, and stopped the student. The student started to taunt him, clenched his fist, and raised it to Mr. F’s face. “Go ahead, make my day” calmly came out of Mr. R’s mouth. The student confusingly looked at Mr. R, lowered his fist, and quietly walked back into his classroom.

I didn’t know it then, but witnessing this interaction gave me great clarity into the persona I needed to embody in order to survive my first year. The winning trait: grit.

I am a second year corps member, teaching a bridge 2nd and 3rd grade 12:1:1 self-contained special education class at P.S. 1 in Chinatown, Manhattan. I am the first and only corps member at my school…a position I found last spring through the NYC Department of Ed Open Market after I was granted a safety transfer.

Everyday, I think about my first group of students in the South Bronx, while doing everything I can to help my second group of students downtown in Chinatown. I’ve learned a lot about myself and teaching and learning, so hopefully this blog will help chronicle my thoughts and adventures. Any day spent with students….makes my day!

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    New York
    Elementary School
    Special Education

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