News, Jazz, NPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Education

Despite the Frustration, Deciding to Be a Teacher

biopic.jpg

http://vimeo.com/41314405

Yoselis Ramos isn’t very good at math. She admits as much.

So why, then, does she want to be a math teacher?

“I’m pretty stubborn and I’m not a person who quits,” she says.

The USF sophomore recently joined a group of Hillsborough County teachers on a bus trip to Jacksonville. They were part of a television town-hall meeting of teachers from across Florida sponsored by the American Graduate project.

Ramos’s mission: to hear from veteran educators about the struggles, frustrations and joys of teaching.

“You can never hear too much about what you’re about to do,” Ramos said, “being able to hear what it’s like in the real world before I’ve been exposed to anything like it.

“You don’t get paid very well, admin is asking stuff from you, the state is asking for certain requirements, and the students, they’re hard to push. And so I know there are a lot of difficulties.

“But if it was easy, would you really want to go through it,” she said.

At the town hall meeting, Ramos heard a lot of that frustration.

One teacher said, frankly, “I can’t do all of it.”

Another said it was “very frustrating at times,” because all of the requirements from state and county officials.

And one teacher elicited cheers when he talks about how hard it was to teach students who are so diverse: some from other countries, others who are 4 years behind, some who are in Mensa.

 “And I’m supposed to do miracles with all of these kids, sitting in the same classroom, in 50 minutes, and no one better fail or it’s going to affect my paycheck,” he said.

Ramos watched all this, but she said all the negative talk didn’t change her mind about being a teacher.

“It actually hasn’t been scary at all. I’m not any less determined to be a teacher,” she said.

She said she saw it all in her high school. What she learned is that these problems are universal.

“And we definitely have to get together and do something about it,” she said.