What Next?

You see, I have a weird relationship with education. We’re like the earth and the sun: I just keep revolving around education again and again. I’ve always been interested in education and teaching, but I’d also get diverted quite often. Just last December, right before this semester began, I was devoutly ready to throw myself in the advertising and communications industry. What do I want to do after I graduate from college? Well, if you asked me that a few months ago, I would have said something like this: I’ll be clippin’ around in my heels on marble floors of some advertising company, having meetings with clients and trying to devise the most innovative and profitable ad. Now, my answer is totally different.

In this class, I was given the liberty to choose an issue about education and delve into the subject. Naturally, as a bilingual student, I chose to take a look at the policy issues of education for English Language Learners. What I found was utterly unsettling. The regulations surrounding education for English Language Learners do not take into account their social background at all. (In fact, education policies of America do not consider any student’s background.) ELLs, who often are immigrants, must juggle school work, English learning, and social adjustment all at the same time. This may be possible had the system been more lenient on teachers to provide proper assistance to these students and design courses that incorporate their cultural identity. Instead,  the NCLB and common core forces teachers to focus on drilling standards into their heads and teaching to the test.

This is messed up. I wanted to do something, but what can a Korean girl do? This whole issue is too convoluted and deep-rooted for an alien student to tackle. Instead of heading straight to the crux of the problem, I decided that it’s probably best to start from the bottom and go up. So, back to the question, what do you want to do after you graduate?

I can answer this proudly and unwaveringly. I will become a school counselor and/or an English teacher. But, at the same time, I don’t want to drop my journalism major. This means, I must somehow handle two majors, journalism and English, and a minor in education. But that’s only for two years. What’s two years in a lifetime? Nothing. Once I obtain these degrees, I’d like to get a masters in either school counseling or in teaching English. Regardless of what position I take, I am adamant that I work in a school setting in close contact with students. I’ll strive to understand the students and transcend the arbitrary boundaries set by negligent government officials. I hope to become one of those teachers who are able shield students from the brutal expectations of the government and that one day, a former student of mine will think of me and say, “Yeah, she kept me going,” and really mean it.

 

School is more than just a place of learning.

Empathetic and Motivated Teachers

Strong interest and passion

“I’m just a Level Two…”

NO

Social embarrassment

NO

Funding cuts

Teach for

Equitable Education

-From the blogs of Politics of Reading, The Shame of the Nation by Jonathan Kozol, and Operation No Child Left Behind by Steven L. Strauss-

 

Jinni Kim

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