Nearly all Fellows are hired to teach in "high speed" schools that are located in low-income communities. Why do you want to teach in a high need school in New York City? Why do you believe you will be an effective teacher in a high-need school? 400-600 words
I blushed; it was like reading a love letter for the first time. "It was a pleasure having you in my class and you will continue to grow into a success in whatever career you choose." The yearbook inscription written by my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Susie, stunned me. My heart raced: would I be a teacher, a scientist, a businesswoman? I smiled thinking of all the possibilities. Walking home from school, I read the passage over and over again, and I began to believe it. Even as an A student, this was the first time I was offered such educational encouragement, and it meant the world to me. My effectiveness as a high-needs schoolteacher will rely on my personal characteristics and perspective fostered from my unique background.
As a child of an economically struggling community, my educational path was unique. By my high school graduation, I had attended eleven schools, and I later graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. I was the first member of my family to graduate college. As a student at UC Berkeley, I was able to expand my view of both of the polar vantage points in our educational system. As I analyzed the outcomes of my family and grade school friends, none of whom put significant emphasis on education, the weight of these limitations became strikingly apparent.
Provoked in social theory courses, I desired to deepen my understanding of social disparity and expand my view of culture. To achieve this goal, I went on a journey to Ecuador to acquire tangible experiences to supplement my otherwise ordinary social-theory research. Working as a volunteer naturalist educator, I found myself at the high end of the socioeconomic status. I was the "privileged" foreigner, looking in at the lack of social mobility available to others.
Reflection on my experiences and those of children in a developing nation revealed that the ill effect of poverty is broken through education. In my observations, I came to understand that the achievement gap continues across generational lines from a lack of parental, teacher, and/or community support. As a poor child, I did not believe that anything was possible; instead, I saw life as a series of inhibitors. Through quality teachers, I developed a more comprehensive perspective. I now view the instability of my youth as an unexpected contributor to my positive development. It has conditioned me to adapt to any situation with confidence.
Specifically, I wish to teach in New York City because the enormity of the school district makes it one of the most influential in the county. New York City schools are a Mecca of diversity, immigration, and assimilation of differing cultural ideas about education. I find working in a diverse demographic a mutually beneficial process, as I learn invaluable lessons through the interchange of perspective.
Flexibility enables me to search for my own understanding; I have the ability to look at issues in a variety of ways. I urge others to also use facts as a beginning point, encouraging them to understand concepts on a personal level. Inquisitive in nature, I am a life-long learner, and I continue to gain knowledge in fields that I am involved with. Inspiration from Mrs. Susie allowed me to define my own future, and I will instill the same sense of opportunity in my students in order to make a positive, unique, and substantial contribution to our social fabric.