I saw a teacher blog about reaching a benchmark in their teaching experience using this song as their own “the show goes on” moment. I couldn’t help but notice that they left out the most relevant part of the song, which particularly energized me during my teaching experience. [Sorry in advance for the n-word use, but I keep it real and think that it’s better to keep it the way the artist intended it]
"Five in the air for the teachers not scared to tell the kids that’s livin’ in the ghetto that the niggas holdin’ back, that the world is theirs."
That was what took my experience from good to great. No one ever believes that holding high expectations for students and telling them that they can reach and exceed them actually makes a difference. It does. It may be a Freedom Writers sentiment, but it’s true. At the end of the year, when we said our goodbyes, most of the students said that my fellow teaching interns and I were tough, but that they liked it. We challenged them more than any other class, and they rose to the occasion. All of the high school and university department officials said that they had the best presentations they’ve seen in the history of the program (over 15 years). It was tough sometimes. Some nights I would come home emotionally exhausted from trying to help students reach the expectations we set for them. I often wondered if it was enough to be encouraging. In the end, it clearly was. Students noticed and responded well to my emotional investment into their success. One student later wrote me: “I appreciate all the help and encouragement you gave me. Also for seemingly knowing every Time something was wrong with me in class [sic]”. I really hope that the show goes on.