My comic portrays my first day as a substitute teacher at Euclid High School. My drive to school that morning was filled with excitement and anxiety, but I was excited to try out teaching and see if I had a passion for education. I saw some challenges involved with schooling right away when I was informed that I would teach English (which I am horrible at) to 10th and 11th graders. When I asked about the lesson plans for the next two weeks, the principal gave me a fifth-grade level worksheet and told me I would have to figure it out for the following days. Not only did lesson planning stress me out, but the kids could tell I was in way over my head. Managing the classroom was difficult, and some students met me with resistance because they did not believe I was invested in them. I contemplated being authoritative but figured I would be honest. Ayers had three statements on page 81 that inspired me to use this experience:
1) “Today and every day (and in a zillion ways we’re learning to live together”
2) ” I’ll do my best, to be honest, and truthful to students”
3)”- so I’ll try to tell the truth to my students as I understand it, and we can struggle together towards deeper truths as we move along”
When reflecting on those statements, I believe that my ability to be honest and genuine will be the strongest characteristics I will bring into my classroom. This seems to be the gist of Ayers and his book–that as teachers, we need to create a learning environment that is welcoming and interesting. However, we also need to keep being students ourselves. We need to learn from our mistakes, and we also need to learn from our students.