I did something a little unusual this Summer– served as an English teacher for a non-profit’s Summer Academy. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, and if anybody were to ask me if I’d do it again, I’d probably say no. There are several reasons for this, but the main one being that some of the kids needed more support than I was trained to give. A few of my students needed extra assistance in the classroom, but by the time I realized this (or was told), we were halfway through the 6-week program. That’s something that I pointed out in our surveys; I really wish I was told about this beforehand so that I could’ve made the necessary changes. If anything, this just shows that our non-profits need all the support they can get, along with our educators. I do plan to continue working with kids through mentorship, and I’ll support educators as much as I can, but when it comes to teaching… I’ll gladly stay in my lane.
“Why would you do this?”
Remember when I said I was thinking about taking those gap years? At one point, I did consider teach for a year. Well, yeah this was sort of like a test run. I wanted to know, can I really be somebody’s teacher? Also, I had a growing opinion of our education system, so I wanted to get a firsthand experience from an educator’s perspective.
- I grew as a leader
- Before, whenever I would have to make big decisions, I’d always question myself. Am I getting ahead of myself? What if people don’t like the idea, or don’t want to engage? Now, I feel more confident in asserting my authority– and I don’t mean in a dictator-like way either.
- I feel comfortable taking breaks
- Before, I would force myself to keep working even when I felt like I was done. Through this experience, I learned how to give myself the space I need in order to reset.
- The field trips/college trips
- I loved the fact that the kids were exposed to new, educational things.
- Being “Ms. Andy” was kind of fun
- Waking up at 5:20 am, Monday through Thursday
- It’s my Summer break, hello! This was particularly hard on those rough days because I would have to give myself a pep talk to get out of bed.
- The curriculum
- This particular program provided the curriculum so I didn’t have a hard time with lesson planning, the pacing, however, is a different story. It’s like they tried to fit too much information in a short amount of time which made the content of the lessons kind of dense.
I definitely don’t regret anything about this experience because I learned a ton, and I know many of my kids did too. I have gained a lot more respect for our teachers because they do so much for little in return.