Freshman Year Wrap-Up Pt. 1
Written June 17, 2013
So I’ve decided to take a step back from the blog this summer because I needed to take the time to research, push myself, and give myself the space and time to truly reflect on all that has happened. At times it’s been hard to share how I really feel about teaching and teacher “training” because I’m too worried how others may perceive my thoughts. My goal is to take this summer off and analyze my first year here in New York City as a Teaching Fellow. Even today, June 17, I stayed up until 1:37am (technically to read the Racial Identity chapter in my textbook, Understanding Youth: adolescent development for educators) The theories in here are difficult to swallow. As as you can see from my notes… I wasn’t fucking with William Cross and his view of how I experience my racial identity.
*click to enlarge – it’s all bullshit, trust*
I’m frustrated, and pissed off that I spent the weekend reading a source material that uses a model developed by White man to depict the journey a Black adolescent endures as they come to understand and make connections with their own racial identity. Many of the examples in the book were laced with the same racism and prejudice that the author claims to fight. Many times I’ve stopped and asked myself, “Why, and more importantly, How is this book describing how teachers from the dominant cultures should interact around issues of race?” Yet, the author continues to forget that we as teachers must be the individuals empowered with the knowledge to break the psychological affects of racism most often encultured, first – in the public education classroom, followed by the criminal justice system, public housing and assistance offices, etc…” It’s frustrating [as f***] but it’s kind of a moot point to argue right now.
We were supposed to be discussing this chapter in class later on this week. Luckily I have a work retreat that I have to attend which means I’ll miss the discussion. It’s probably for the best because I’m just not in the mood for any additional bullshit right now and probably wouldn’t be able to communicate a strong case for how I’ve been feeling as of late anyways.
I have an idea how long I want my hiatus to be. Think of it as a preparation for Season 2 (Sophomore Year). I don’t watch a lot of reality tv, but I watch enough to know that with each season the show is supposed to grow, blossom, and in some ways shock and surprise its audience. Hopefully I can accomplish this for those of you that follow. I’m planning on taking this time to read a few books I’ve been meaning to digest. I’ve found a few interesting treasure troves discussing Black/minority developmental theory and research from a more neutral standpoint. I also need to get my physicality back. I don’t necessarily feel healthy physically which makes me feel weak mentally. I think I’ve mentioned that before on the blog. For me, this affects my teaching, my thinking, my processing, my self-esteem, my everything. It’s the dichotomy I’m constantly dealing with as an “athlete”. I’ve also reached out to a few of my professors and coaches to let them know how I experienced their classes. I wanted them to know that I interested in being involved in any mentorship opportunities they have available. I’m focused less on being the mentee and more the mentor. It may seem wild… but I would love to be able to get some guest writers on the blog. My perspective is… my perspective and it comes from a very focused point of reference. We all could use additional points of reference to help better shape our………….selves. I have an idea what I can do… I’ll keep you posted…
Welcome back everybody. I wanted to give a quick introduction back into the SkoolHaze groove. Yes, I took a break from writing, but not from thinking. To those of you who are following, each day this week I will be posting a new piece to help bridge the gap between the end of my first year as a teacher and graduate student, and the beginning of my second year in The Beast.
Quite a bit has happened over the past 4 months from the George Zimmerman not guilty verdict [ironically enough the ninja is in the news AGAIN today], to my realization that prejudice isn’t just on the streets, but is abundantly available in graduate school classrooms across the country as well. I’ve had a few experiences where I’ve witnessed what I hope is subconscious prejudice and racism by my peers and professors.
It made me angry, but more-so it made me think, critically about the role I’ve played in this world so far, and how I can educate myself to understand my, and other people’s roles in this system. Much of it will be explained and shared in the days and weeks to come.
Thanks for returning for the ride! It’s definitely going to be bumpier this time around. But, I’m positive that we all can handle what’s in store for the next 180 days. Be sure to check out Pt. 2 tomorrow