To be completely honest, I was inspired to create this blog by a friend who also wants to be a teacher and is also creating a somewhat similar blog. What was originally going to be a collaborative effort became two separate blogs since we realized that we are different people with different opinions and want to have separate spaces to reflect on our own experiences beyond a one-semester project. The title for this blog comes from a question that I have frequently been asked, in one form or another. I attend a university where many people aspire to work on Wall Street and focus on the most lucrative, high paying position, and teaching is rarely seen as a realistic or desirable career. Nevertheless, I’m more than content in my decision to teach.
Once we decided to create separate pages, I tried to think about where the inspiration for my posts could come from. Obviously, a lot is said about education in the media and I discuss topics related to education on a nearly-daily basis in my own college classes, but I didn’t find a piece of literature that really stuck with me until I read Holler If You Can Hear Me-The Education of a Teacher and His Students by Gregory Michie. Originally assigned as an excerpt to read for class, I was
intrigued by how Michie, a white male, navigated his way to success in schools on the south side of Chicago, primarily attended by students of color. Michie’s book, which I discuss further in a post, helped me understand how to balance my own good intentions to “help” high-needs students and the “white savior” narrative that I desperately hope to avoid embodying. How can I truly make a difference in my students’ lives when I have so much privilege and nothing close to their lived experience? Michie, through his failures and successes, helped me better understand how to approach teaching in a high-needs environment.