Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Autobiography of my educational experience: Allison Zacarias

azacarias's picture

Table of contents

  1. First grade: Special Education class- separated but equal
  2. Second to fourth grade: You’re on your own
  3. Fifth to eighth grade: I think I get it
  4. High school: Graduate and go to college- that’s what I have to do, thanks for telling me

Chapter 4

High School Freshman English class: Uncontrollable

We were “that class” to her: the class that was loud, annoying, a pain, uneducated, ill mannered, and overwhelmingly tiring. And she was “that teacher” to us. She was angry, annoyed, and exhausted. Most importantly she didn’t like us. She looked like she hated her life, her job, and us. She was my 9th grade English teacher and although I was quiet, reserved, and studious to her I was part of “that class.” I was ignored because she had to control the bad students. Which weren’t bad students at all. They were just tired of being enclosed in a building for so many hours of the day, they were tired of being yelled at, they were tired of having teachers that didn’t believe they were smart or capable of doing anything, and they were tired of not getting what they deserved our of the Lynn public school system.

When it came to test taking days a large portion of the students developed a system in which someone would be responsible to make a “cheat cheat” for each test. It had the answers to the questions the students expected would be on the test. It was like they knew what was going to be on the test, and they did since our teacher would give us the same formatted test every other week. She based the whole classes intelligence by giving us the same test ever other week. The “cheat cheat” would start of in one end of the room and make its way to everyone. It was carefully hidden beneath someone’s thigh or in his or her sleeve or even strategically placed on someone’s desk and our teacher could’ve easily spotted it if she would have paid attention but she didn’t.

Why did we do this? Why did we cheat? We did it because we weren’t learning. We weren’t being taught in the way that we learned best. Our teacher was tired of us. Most of us didn’t have access to tutors or any other type of help. I never had the privilege of going home and having one of my parents or any of my siblings help me because they couldn’t. My 9th grade education was far superior to that of my parents. If anyone was helping anybody else on his or her academics it was I. There are so many factors that inhibit a student’s ability to focus on their academics and do well. Experiencing my teacher feel like she had no control over the class and no understanding of why the students were the way they were was an eye opener. I could see that our teacher wanted to teach us but she just didn’t know how to and overall she didn’t believe in us. From personal experience I have witnessed students test teachers all in order to determine whether or not they were in it for the long run and my 9th grade English teacher failed the test.