Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Our Youth

     A few years ago, during my Fundamentals of Education class, we were required to complete a service learning in a diverse school setting.  I always knew I wanted to work with older youth, so I decided to perform my hours at a High School in Providence, RI.  I was placed in a senior history class.

     Before entering the school, everyone in my class was talking about how nervous they were to be placed mostly in Providence, I could not deny this, because I, too was nervous.  The stereotypes that evolve from Providence are not good, so we were all nervous.

     My first day was not as bad as I thought, until lunch came.  My teacher invited me to eat lunch with other teachers in the teachers room.  She introduced me to her colleagues and then the talking began.  "The students here are awful."  "You should probably switch schools, its gonna be tough."  "These kids don't care about anything but themselves, don't take it personal."  These were all told to me by the teachers who taught these students.  A part of me became immensely scared.  Another part of me was aggravated and upset.  How could these teachers say these  things about these students?  I almost did not what to come back, I did not want to hear anymore of this.

     Well, I continued to go, this time, I skipped lunch in the  teacher's room.  I would walk around the school, checking out the art room, chorus room and other classrooms.  I learned myself these were not bad kids, they were misunderstood.  They had been stereotyped for so long that just had the tag of "bad student" labeled to them.  I got to know just about every single student in my class.  I learned that the students had very similar opinions of the teachers, they just did not get along.  The students kept saying they don't understand us, they don't know how to help to name a few things.  It was all just a matter of miscommunication.

    I told the teacher if you just listened to them for five minutes, you might actually understand what they want, or how they need help.

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