I chose to become a teacher in order to help my students. This isn’t a career for personal gain or monetary funds. This is for children. As a former high schooler, I understand how important it was for me to have a teacher there for me in the moments when I needed it the most. This is why the ‘teacher as ally’ badge is so important to me.
I wouldn’t have made it to where I am today without the teachers that acted as my own ally when I was still in high school. They acted as my mentors and I wasn’t even aware of the impact they had on my life. Still, without them, I would have been lost, aimlessly wandering the world, wondering why the hell I was so pissed off at everything. These teachers changed me for the better by supporting me at a time in my life when I was on a very literal tipping point. I could have gone to college, pissed off, to study something that I knew would make me money, stay mad at my dad, accept my mothers warped relationships, and never understand where I fit in. Thankfully, those teachers came into my life and talked me down of the mental edge I was leaning over. I was so lost. There had never been a moment in my life more confusing as my high school career. I was lucky enough to have teachers there that genuinely cared about me as a person.
This is what I want for my own students. This is why this badge is important to me as a future educator. I want to be there for kids on those same mental ledges—to be the one that can talk them back down. If I can make one kid open their eyes, become a little more understanding and less angry—to make them feel like they do belong in this world—I will have done my job. This badge is going to help me teach me what an ally is. This is the first step to allow me to help my students when they need it the most. This badge will ground my own definition of what an ally is; it will help me be the teacher that can pull aside a student and really ask them what’s going on in their lives. I want to be that teacher that they can come to. I don’t care if the kids think of me as ‘the cool teacher’ or not.
Instead, I want the small group of kids I impact to speak to others: “Go see Ms. Simmonds.”
This is what is important to me as a future educator. This is what makes this badge so important to me. I will be the teacher that can pull kids off to the side and will have students that are eager to speak to me. Of course, I won’t be able to do this for all of them, but if there is just one kid, one just like I was, that will come to me, I’ll be happy.