May 8, 2009
For the past three months, I've been participating in a field experience assisting in the kindergarten and first grade classrooms at Tanner Duckrey Elementary School. Upon completion of this semester, I had worked on site at Duckrey for approximately ninety hours. The primary reason I came to study in Philadelphia was so that I could gain experience working in the urban elementary school. Ever since I began volunteering and substitute teaching at a daycare in a low income, urban area of my hometown, I've felt called to teach in an inner-city setting. I perceive teaching in an urban setting to be just as integral to my calling as teaching itself. Obviously, I had high hopes for this experience.
While my dream has been to work in an inner-city setting, I didn't know if I could actually handle all the demands involved. Classroom management and becoming overly emotional were concerns of mine. However, after this experience, I learned that I am indeed capable of teaching in an urban school like Duckrey. While I still became very attached to the students, I was successful in separating school from work, and I didn't bring issues home from the classroom.
Clearly the highlight of my field experience was interacting with the students and forming relationships with them. I looked forward to going to Duckrey every Tuesday and Thursday. I loved living and working in the same community. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing my students after hours as I took walks through their neighborhoods on Diamond St. west of Broad. My time working at Duckrey was thoroughly blessed by the children. I'm determined to record every funny and insightful snippet spoken by these youngsters so that I never forget the joy that they brought to my life this semester. When I heard the rough-and-tumble boys tell their teachers that they loved me, or when the little girls said that they wished they could come home with me, I knew that I was truly in a place where I could flourish and help others to flourish.