Years in education: 4-6
Asian + Caucasian
Middle School Math Teacher
Q: What do you have in common with your students?
A: I am exactly like my students. My students are growing up in an affluent suburb of a larger city. I went to school in the North shore suburbs of Chicago. I would have classified my upbringing as upper middle class much like the students that I teach. I am mixed race, much like many of my students, or at least they are one or the other race. I had the same experiences they had, I hear their stories and I have those same stories. I am just like my students in almost every way.
Q: Does it matter that students and teachers have things in common?
A: I have taught in 3 schools before this school, and I am finally at a school where I find the students the most similar. The first and second schools I taught in, there were major religious sects present, I am not religious. The third school I taught in was a large transient immigrant population and high population of free/reduce lunch students, this is not the kind of school I went to. I find that at the current school I am at, I can relate to my students, and I share their same stories. They say that you teach how you were taught, perhaps I do in some ways, I am always trying to challenge and enrich their thinking versus trying to motivate them to want to learn. They already want to learn, much like I had wanted to. I will never be a good teacher to the students who need motivating; I am not a cheerleader. I will never be a good teacher to those who have had a different upbringing than me; I cannot relate. I believe that for me to be the best teacher I can possibly be, I need to be able to relate to my students; have things in common with them. I love the school that I teach at, probably because this is the kind of school I went to.
Follow Regen on Twitter @regenlorden.
Humanizing the gaps separating teachers and students.