Reflections of a Teacher

The past five years of my life revolved around lesson plans, behavior management, teenage drama, and learning so much more holistically about humanity by observing these intricate specimens called high school students. As a high school teacher, I became a second or sometimes first ‘mom’ to my small souls with big bodies. I taught what they titled ‘visual arts.’ I often tell students that it really meant to say ‘life skills’.

As a teacher I learned that teaching in the classroom is not only so much about knowing and delivering content, but about teaching young people how to be citizens of a community outside of themselves. Kids spend more than half their days in school compared to home. Why do we only teach them about academic subjects? Where are the courses on how to deal with your emotions? how to have healthy relationships? make wiser decisions? I realized that there is an unspoken assumption that parents, families and homes should be teaching young people how to think, behave, and live. There are 5–6 hours young people are not in school during the day and are supposed to be home learning these essential life skills from their parents or families. No wonder schools are a hot mess. They are places young people are contained to learn un-intuitive things without being educated or trained on basic life skills.

My life as an educator in the NYC education system has shifted my views on everything in life.

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