The Rookie Sensation

Jose Vilson 3 Comments

I was riding the train with a rookie teacher who, despite her numerous issues with authorities and her own personal business, has done very well, and seems to be growing into a good teacher. After a conversation about the state of our school, I asked her why she stayed in this profession then and what she actually likes about this profession, and she says with the twinkly little eyes of a newbie,

“It’s because of the children. It’s because of their vast potential and knowing that they deserve better. We go on a trip and it’s not well planned. We wouldn’t want that for ourselves, so why do the kids have that? The kids don’t deserve that. I want to see them have a good future …”

And I interrupted with a semi-sarcastic “AWWWW,” my usual way of deflecting seriousness of certain matters. Honestly, it reminded me of why I teach, and why I got into the profession in the first place. In spite of all the bull I have to constantly sift through, all the blame, none of the props, and the everlasting job-related fatigue, I still teach.

That’s the thing that very few people get. It’s that mix of idealism with a dash of realism. It keeps this teacher, and teachers like the one I just spoke of, keepin’ on with the keepin’ on …

jose, who’s going to have a gooooood weekend

p.s. – I didn’t know the kids have to be BRIBED into scoring better on their English / Language Arts and Math State Tests. Maybe we should just give them hints on all of their tests. Then again, maybe not.

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Comments 3

  1. LuzMaria

    That exchange between you and this teacher is absolutely wonderful!!! After a long and hard year, this said teacher is able to
    articulate the priority of every educator, the children. Usually during this time of the school year, it is a countdown for both students and teachers-myself included. But it is also a time for self-reflection of what we accomplished and those moments we didn’t fare so well due to the “outside” forces we cannot control. Knowing that we will face similiar if not the same adversities, we take the next few weeks to not only sleep for days on end but to also think of how to handle “difficult moments” better. The goal for all of us is to become better at our craft. As an educator, you aspire the following year to be better than the last one. This entails a vision and a well-developed for the upcoming school year. Why? Because our kids DESERVE the best and it is OUR job to provide them with as many skills as possible for them to be able to succeed.

  2. nyc educator

    Nice comment above, and I agree it’s very rewarding to work with kids.

    That said, I’ve read over 300 essays this week, and it’s really starting to be too much. Fortunately, I’m pretty sure we’re finished.

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