MAY 2nd, 4:30-6:00 PM.
@The Bowery Poetry Club, on the west side of the street between Bleecker and 2nd.
Oh Glaucoma! You inspire me, too. Send in by alert reader my dad (He's the one in the middle, with the matrix shades). He was recently in Belgium on a business trip, and it seems he managed to do some biking. There were some pretty serious biker kids there, apparently. Who knew?
I have been hanging out with Molly's folks recently, as they are in this week. They served a feast of pierogis on Sunday, which was chalk-full of delicious. Even Odin was stuffed to the gills, believe you me. We all had lunch today, actually--and the meal turned into a "Simon's resume and essay for the teaching fellows proofreading" session. I am forever grateful. Sometimes you have it all together and the right people are just there (in this instance, meeting you for lunch at McSorley's), willing to help you make things shine.
So! I am uber excited about helping high-need schools, and I think I need a kind of transition between college and careerland--some place to slow down and think. I have Graduate school and a great many things to consider. Besides, I love working with kids. Lights of my life, I tell ya. Here's the essay, in case you're interested. I made it all small n stuff so it wouldn't take up too much space, so maybe you want to make it bigger. The questions (in my own words) were:
- Why do you want to become a teacher?
- How do you plan to bring your previous experience to a teaching job?
- Many New York City Teaching Fellows are placed in high-need schools. How do you feel about this?
I want to become a teacher because interacting with secondary and primary school students fills me with energy and inspiration. Every school at which I have observed or taught has shown me that teaching is an intense creative challenge that requires a fresh perspective every day. As a writer, reader, and editor at NYU and other institutions, my job has always been to find ways to successfully translate one discourse into another. That is what teaching is for me, ultimately—a fantastically inspiring task of translation. How can I tell a supervisor or professor what I know in a language both of us can understand? How do I tell a Foundation Board that my group needs grant funding to organize a project, and that we have the same goals? How can I explain why identifying pronouns or equidistant points correctly is important? I am enthralled by answering questions like these, and being a teacher would allow me to do so every day. Teaching offers exactly what I want most in daily life and a career—the challenge of solving problems creatively, and a chance to interact with students in a structured environment.
As a Fellow, I intend to use all of my previous experiences in education and occupation to ensure that my students are engaged and performing beyond expectations. My search to find the job that best suits me has taken me through many different working and writing environments, and my knowledge of what it takes to develop skills for a career will be crucial in an English, ESL, or math class. My work as a development coordinator, grant writer, and copy writer has taught me that the right language and personality are essential in “selling” an argument, product, and especially oneself. Students in high school need help presenting themselves to colleges or prospective employers, and, knowing first-hand how discouraging it can be to organize these presentations, I would like nothing better than to help students in especially high-need areas.
I spent seven months in an eighth grade classroom in MS 143 in the
Teaching in a high-need school is extremely important to me. I crave the diversity and the exhausting challenge that such a school environment provides. Also, I believe schools are called high-need for a reason—they do not want help, they need it. I encountered great many high-need students and their families when I visited
I was not raised and educated in a high-need school environment and will be the first to admit the gap in life experience between myself any student who is. But observing and teaching in high-need schools has taught me that academic performance and a desire to learn does not come from having a teacher who is a peer. It comes from having a teacher who respects and is respected by his or her students. I firmly believe that learning and interacting with a teacher who comes from outside the student’s culture is just as valuable as working with a teacher of a familiar race, age, or culture. As a student, I have found my most valuable and empowering experiences to be broadening ones. As a teacher for the New York City Teaching Fellowship, I am absolutely certain that I can bring this message to the high-need students of