I have to admit something. I still sometimes hold on the belief that teaching at a private school is easier than teaching at a public school. For those of us who do work with students and families in under-resourced neighborhoods I have to ask: Do we own a self-serving pride that comes along with working with our most vulnerable in society? My guess is Yes. Not for all of us, but certainly for many of us. And I’m one of them.
On Episode 9 Part II, I welcome back Jay Tucker, a 4th grade science teacher at private school Georgetown Day, located in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods of Washington, D.C.
However, let’s not forget that kids are kids, regardless of how and where they spend their spring break. Yes, students who attend Georgetown Day have access to many more resources than a majority of the students in D.C. but that’s a surface observation. There are still students who struggle with their own sexual orientation and I find out how Jay’s school creates an environment where being part of the LGBTQ community is normalized. I learn that, though Jay grew up with many privileges, he struggled as a student and wonders if he should have had an IEP for a learning difference. I also realize that maybe sometimes there’s no value in comparing poor kids to rich kids.
In the end, I must remember to push myself to acknowledge that regardless of zip code….teaching is hard. And that Jay and his school know fully well that they have that Enormous Responsibility of ensuring their students understand their role in society and how germane inclusion, empathy and acceptance are in our society.