"Education is not a product: mark, diploma, job, money; It is a process, a never-ending one." -bel kaufman

Wednesday, January 14, 2004


notes from the field

today is hard.
i get discouraged easily, but something keeps me holding on. i don't know what to do with this feeling sometimes. i listen to myself, listen to the words i said the other day about how this is my opportunity to see if i can withstand the challenge. if i can get through any obstacle.

this is really exciting and really scary to not know how things will turn out. will i find the much needed strength to get through this? will i be able to keep focus? will i be able to stay on task and concentrate on the pursuit of becoming a well prepared and inspirational teacher?

today i sat thinking in the lobby area where all the students congregate to eat lunch. i thought about how today has been hard because most of the students have been struggling to stay on task and how i very easily lose their attention. i thought also about how their goals in life are set low--some students tell me they can only see themselves doing construction work or working in retail. while i sat eating lunch today, i recognized how they feel. i have felt the same way and still often do. they want to enjoy living day to day and not worry about a career and expectations and responsibilities. i know that feeling well. and this feeling is not horrible--it is honest and human. but i have also felt the beauty of succeeding and achieving something through hard work and determination. i am sure some of these students have never felt that, not to mention they have so many forces working against them.

maybe if i can offer support, to provide them with a place they feel like they can succeed. show them what their work is worth. offer a place where they can be open and expressive and look forward to doing class work--work that they know will take them somewhere better.

i have very few ideas on how to achieve such a classroom environment; however, i know that being in the classroom everyday is only moving me closer to figuring it out.

i guess that is what keeps me going in the toughest of situations.


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