By Sam Thompson
When I grow up I want to teach sex education to high school students, my dream is to teach with the Planned Parenthood. I applied for this internship because I thought it would good to gain some experience in front of a class of students before venturing into the real world. I love working with children! I have done volunteer child care for over fifteen years, but that could not prepare me for the challenge I embarked on. Working with the eighth graders at Northeast Middle School has been harder than I thought it would be, but overall it has been rewarding and I’ve enjoyed it.
I am in the last two periods of the day, which brings different challenges than other periods. My first class is directly after lunch, and is a rather large class, while my second is the last period on a Friday, bringing with it a lot of energy and minimal desire to do any work. I remember a particularly challenging day, it was hard to get any of the students engaged, the tension hung in the air as we tried to get them talking. My fellow interns and I left feeling dejected, we felt like we had failed. The next week was the exact opposite, most of the students actively did the activity and engaged with the material. The activity was more physical as we discussed wealth inequities, which these inner city students already had experience with. The about face was startling and welcome. Knowing the atmosphere in the class could swing so drastically week to week, has helped keep me energized and optimistic after more challenging days. I really like being in the classroom with the students and getting to know them and them getting to know me. I did my digital story on a major issue in my community, sexual harassment. I hope the students see that their stories can be about something personal and that they can be vulnerable. I cannot wait to see what they make when it comes time to make their digital stories.