Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Teaching Educatoion

Name: Joseph Torres
From: Bronx, NY
Votes: 0

If the brain is where our personality, memory, senses, and motor
functions are processed is it wrong to say that we are our brain, and
our body is just a vessel?” With these 31 words, I launched my
teaching career. However, it did not begin as smoothly as I planned.
For the first few minutes, I received nothing but silence and a few
lingering glances. Feeling the color drain from my face and feeling
that I had failed was disheartening. If I could not impart the
information to my classmates, if they were not responsive, they would
fail the test and I would carry the torch of failure for the rest of
my life.

Although I felt secure in front of the board and a good distance from the rest
of the class, standing before the twenty impatient uninterested eyes,
I couldn’t help but feel intimidated. The moment finally came when I
got the chance to prove that I can be something besides a slacker. I
try to find the perfect sentence to begin that’ll grab their
attention, while simultaneously impressing my teacher. Five minutes
into my lesson and I am stuttering and skipping important key points;
the lesson is in chaos and worse, my classmates seemed disinterested.
Then it hit, I took a deep breath and start to walk towards the back
of the room and I again posed the question, “If you can imagine the
brain being the boss of our organs then, isn’t the pituitary gland
like the boss of our endocrine glands?” A few hands in the front
row shot up and little by little, other hands joined in. I exhaled,
breathed a sigh of relief, and plodded on. Every second from then on
got progressively more effortless, and the 20 minutes was over before
I knew it.

Even though I had succeeded in teaching the planned lesson, the real test
came the minute the teacher handed out the paper. As I quickly
scanned the questions, I wondered whether I had sufficiently covered
the material and whether my classmates will be able to accurately
respond to them. Nevertheless, I went outside as instructed to await
the results. A few minutes later my teacher came to get me. “You
need to see this,” she said as I skittishly stepped through the
door. She summoned me to her desk and showed me the result. It was
then that I felt the best joy in my life. Seeing the many
“lightbulbs” going over everyone’s head as they passed the
questions aimed at my lesson filled me with such great pride. I had
proven to myself that I could teach others what I know in a way that
they learn. Ever since that day, every time an opportunity comes up
for me to teach or tutor a struggling student, I take it because I am
filled with a combination of joy, excitement, relief, and pride every
time they comprehend the concepts and are able to progress.

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