Thursday, December 23, 2010


Holy cow, this job is hard.

I will be back to share stories from my first quarter and a half after a few days of break. :) I don't think I have ever appreciated teachers as much as I do today. I still feel like I'm on the outside looking in, trying to learn about and understand the "secret world" of teachers. It really is this incredible, incredible profession.

Thank you, teachers and happy, happy holidays :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Letter to my Students

Dear 3rd MOD,

When I was growing up, I didn't want to teach - I wanted to become a doctor. I thought that this would be a good thing to do because doctors save and change lives. Also, I liked studying science, doing experiments and learning about the body so I decided that I should be a doctor. I also wanted to be a doctor because my parents wanted me to be a doctor. When you grow up in a traditional Asian household, your parents always want you to be something that makes a lot of money like a doctor or a lawyer. (In case you are wondering, a teacher is not one of those jobs! TRUST ME!)

While I went to college to study biology (so I could become a doctor... and save the world), I started to tutor students at Paint Branch Elementary School in College Park. The kids that I tutored were very sweet and really wanted to learn, but they didn't have anyone at home to help them with their homework so they had trouble with reading, math and sometimes science. All of my students worked very hard to do their homework with me and I think that a lot of them will do well in school if they keep trying hard.

The next year I decided that I wanted to try to teach a science class so I signed up to teach science after school at Chillum Elementary. The kids there were very excited about doing experiments and I had a lot of fun teaching them about how fun science can be. That same year I began to work at Northwestern High School once a week with tenth grade biology students. This was my first time not working with elementary school kids and it was really different. The students were bored most of the time and their teacher told me that he wasn't going to teach them a lot because he didn't think they cared. This made me feel really bad for the kids because some of them were interested and all of them were not getting a very good education in biology.

Their teacher told me that I should not become a teacher because you have to deal with kids who don't want to learn. But his kids did want to learn, he just didn't know it.

The next year, I went to work at Forestville Military Academy (FMA) where I helped to teach biology (I really like biology) and environmental science. The teacher that I worked with was a very nice lady, but she didn't like teaching at her school at all. She REALLY thought the kids didn't care and because of that, she decided that she didn't care. Some days she would not teach them at all. That may sound cool to you to have so much free time, but it made me feel sad for the kids because they thought it was cool too, but really... they were not getting to be as smart as they could be. And if you don't become smart, you don't know very much about the world and you can't get a good job to help the world become a better place.

After working at FMA I decided that I wanted to be a teacher in PG County. Why? Because where I grew up, all of my teachers cared about me and taught me everyday. My teachers believed in me and wanted me to become smart so I could grow up and help to change the world. This is when I realized that doctors are not the only people who change and save lives. Teachers do the same thing every day. You may not know it, but because of a teacher (not necessarily me), you are better and smarter today than you were yesterday. And you are closer to becoming an adult who can contribute to PG County, or Maryland, or the U.S., or the world.

The teachers that I saw in PG County didn't care about their students becoming smarter and I thought that that was TERRIBLE. So I said, I will become a teacher, I will help my students become smarter to get good jobs to help change the world to a better place. Students in PG County are really smart. I think that some of them could one day help cure cancer or become president, but they can't do that if they don't have good teachers who help them to be smarter and to learn how to work hard. (Even if you have a GREAT teacher and you don't work hard, you can't get anywhere good!)

That's what I think about you guys. You all are very smart and you all can do GREAT things. You might need a little help to learn how to work hard and be nice. But that's what I'm here for. All I'm asking for is that you guys help me help you, because I can't do it alone! We have to help you get to where you want to be together.

Are you up to the challenge?


Ms. FF