18 May 2015

Not Your Typical Teacher

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that I didn't "look like a teacher," my student loans would probably be almost paid off. I'm 25 (and look 18, at the most), 5'2.5, and I have 10 tattoos (only 4 are visible when I have on jeans and a t-shirt). Of course, I'm not the typical clean cut, middle-aged married white woman everyone is used to. Yet, here I am--three degrees and a credential later--teaching English at your local middle school.

On the weekends, you can probably find me lounging in a pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt, drinking wine (or whiskey) and grading a stack of essays or reading assignment. No, I'm not your typical teacher who is oblivious to the ways of social media lingo. I'm fully aware and I use it to my advantage. I'm passionate about what I do. I want each and every one of my students to succeed. If it means dissecting a rap song, lyric by lyric, or explaining the how Drake's "woes" are open to interpretation, I will do it if I can do it within my capacity as an English teacher. It takes nothing to give a lesson on language by using a rap song.

Walk into my classroom and you'd probably see me sipping a milkshake while explaining to a student that "on fleek" is not appropriate in a school setting because "fleek" isn't a word. My methods aren't traditional at all, but they work. On any given day, I am in my classroom an hour before school begins, throughout the entire snack and lunch periods, and two hours after school just to help students with any subject. I'm not going to lie and say that I'm perfect, but you cannot teach students you don't understand. My students recognize that, though I am young, I'm also not ignorant. I know all of the social media that they use, and I won't scold them for it. They're young and that's not my decision to make. However, if their parents haven't informed them, I will let them know that they are more accessible to misinformation and ignorance.

I'm definitely not a perfect teacher, and I make mistakes all the time, especially being a new teacher, but don't ever think that me not being the "average" teacher is a bad thing.

💋Phoenix

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