ENG 1101 – OL10
Unit 1 Project
The education system is a complex organization in which every student, teacher, and faculty member has a different experience with. Students from different ethnicities, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds come together to learn a plethora of different things by teachers in school. Although many may come together to learn the same things, every student has a different understanding and reaction towards school and the education system. One large event, or many small events, can impact the way a student reacts towards the education system, and can aid a hand in the way they may continue their education in the near future. I, personally, had a negative reaction to school, and the education system, until one occurrence had changed the way I viewed everything completely.
My experiences from pre-k all the way till eighth grade had been the same. I had been known as a “delinquent” to many of my teachers throughout my grade school, and middle school. From a very young age, I constantly felt the need to protect myself and my twin brother, this included from my fellow peers, and teachers. I had always been in the dean’s room, especially after a verbal altercation with teachers and students, which led to the constant use of the nickname “delinquent” by my teachers. I had always felt like an outcast by my teachers, which in turn led to further ridicule by other students. These occurrences, including me standing up and fighting for my twin brother that was being severely bullied, led to me being constantly suspended, and out of class.
Continuing, after regularly being in the dean’s office, this negatively led to a drop in my grades, and me not wanting to continue learning. I struggled with the reading materials as it was only a dense textbook with no substance, and the classes relied on grades heavily by tests held in class. This gave me little to no room for improvement, in all subjects. This disappointed my parents. I was born from parents who fled from war and genocide in the early nineties. I was the product of immigrants, and their only wish for my siblings and I was to get the education that was never granted to them. This was their American dream for us. In the poem Mexican American Disambiguation by José Olivarez, José sheds light on the daily struggles of immigrants and their children. “My parents were undocumented when they came to this country & by undocumented, i mean sin papeles, & by sin papeles, i mean royally fucked which should not be confused with the American dream though the two are cousins.” José depicts how tough the American dream is by his use of language in this quote.
I had been stuck in detention many days out of the year, I had started to gain guidance from one of the dean’s that worked there. Michael had taught all of my older siblings, before I got to middle school, in computer class. Although Michael was a computer teacher and a dean, he always sat by me and helped me study when I couldn’t do it alone. Michael helped push me for several good things such as being a better test taker, doing my homework, studying, and taking better notes. I felt motivated in a good way when I was around Michael. Despite the fact that I had more of the help I needed with school work, Michael also helped me with things that would benefit me in and out of school.
Furthermore, I had a lot to learn my last year of middle school. The dean Michael had completely helped me turn my attitude around for the better. I was taught that anger isn’t the best reaction, and is usually covering up for something else like fear or hurt. I was both fearful and hurt. I was afraid of disappointing my parents, and hurt of how things were going with other teachers, and myself. In turn, Michael urged me to write apology notes to others, and to myself. I didn’t know it fully then, but it’s something I hold of great value today. We must not hold on to the bad things in life, and learn to not only try to understand others, but yourself as well. I hadn’t known it then, but Michael had taught me some of the most fundamental knowledge I have. In another piece written by José Olivarez, José writes “We were empty bank accounts and it was our teachers’ responsibility to deposit facts.” This quote depicts exactly what I felt with my dean/teacher Michael. I was an empty bank account, and with his help and knowledge I had gained so much of who I am today.
One teacher in our education systems can change us as we may know it. Many will experience negative reactions, and it can completely alter how we view teachers, school, and the entire education system. I had several bad instances with the school, but one huge positive event that altogether restored my faith in teachers and school. I became very successful in high school after Michael’s guidance, and never once got in trouble. I personally progress day by day, and I still give credit to the advice and direction I was pushed in at a younger age.