I am privileged in that my own community, despite its close recommit to Jamestown, does not experience to the same degree many of the problems that Jamestown does, such as poverty, crime and unemployment. While I enjoyed learning about the diverse cultures present in Jamestown, I was deeply saddened to see the hardships faced by many of the students I tutored.
I think that the greatest gift given to me by participating in Pathways to Education’s peer tutoring program Is that I am now able to better understand that some students, who may appear as happy and healthy as any other student, may be at a great disadvantage In arms of attaining an education because of socioeconomic and cultural factors. Pathways has allowed me to see how l, as a future teacher, must fight to provide equity and a fair education for all disadvantaged students.
At Pathways Resale, the majority of students and volunteer tutors are Muslim. Now, I am embarrassed to admit that I felt slightly like an outsider when I first began tutoring at Pathways, because I felt I stood out as a blonde-haired, white woman. However, over the first few weeks I began to understand that the Pathways atmosphere is all about inclusively and helping one another. I was surprised to note that, previously, the high school drop-out rate in Jamestown had been much higher.
However, Pathways provided a way for immigrant and low-income students to get the help that they were not necessarily provided with at home. They were also provided with bus tickets, which provided transport to and from school, and meal plan tickets, which provided food to fuel their brains so that they could participate In classroom actively. Laptops were also made available to those who did not have access to a computer.
Pathways made me aware of how some students might not have tools such as those listed above, that are, in today’s society, so essential to one’s education. The program brought various obstacles to learning to my attention, and through this, showed me how I can be a better teacher in the future. Through reading the article Working Through Dilemmas in and After-School Program: Integrating Theory, Research and Practice by Lucian Pease Lealer et. Al. N he course kit, I began to understand the importance of ensuring my students do not focus on the memorization of facts but rather instill in them a true thirst for knowledge and learning. I feel this article highlighted the Importance of ensuring students understand the relevance of homework and learning, and the Joy It can bring when they are properly motivated to learn about a subject. I think that the role of a teacher should be to Inspire students to want to learn, rather than forcing obscure knowledge down their throats.
My favorite teachers throughout my material. This encouraged me to share that enthusiasm and to want to learn more. Pease-Lavaliere’s article highlighted the importance of motivating students to seek knowledge for themselves. Overall, my experiences in CACM 2100 and at Pathways to Education Resale have been ones that I will always treasure. I hope to bring the knowledge that these experiences have given to me to my future classroom so that I may provide equity to all students, and inspire them to develop a true love of learning.