That was the exact thought that I had as I was hovering behind my mother as she was editing a paper that I had written in regards to public education and charter schools. It was while we were working on the paper together that I realized that my focus was shifting from psychology towards education.
My whole life I avoided being in the education field. The reason behind this is that my mother, my aunt, and my grandmother all were powerhouses in the field of education. The shadow that they cast could blanket Earth. Who the fuck wants to go up against that?
So how does this all relate to the book I picked? Well, as my mother congratulated me on my paper, she handed me the book and told me that I would find it very interesting and would help foster my ideas about psychology and education. She had come across the book as she was obtaining one of her masters degrees…. (yes, she has multiple masters degrees).
As she handed the book to me I saw that there were a bunch of yellow post-it notes crinkling out of the pages of the book. As I slowly flipped through the book, I noticed notes written in pencil by my mother’s textbook style of handwriting. I felt like I was being handed some family secret that had been passed down from generation to generation.
I was never much of a reader. This was truly the first book that kept my attention. It’s the first time that I read something and I felt emotions run through me as I read. I had thoughts of happiness and joy and felt the same pride that someone would feel as if they’ve accomplished a life long goal. All these thoughts and feelings are things that I never thought I could obtain through reading a book.
I know… all this over was is something like a textbook for education. I’m weird.
This book taught me to look at all the nuances of a person. It helped me understand how people have different ways of learning. This book, and the values that were instilled by my parents, are what make me good at my job. Not just good at my job, but good at relating to people, to helping them with any problems they might have, helping people learn, or just even taking the time to listen to them.
I work at a Chicago public school as a teacher assistant. I’m continuing in psychology, but my focus is still on education. This book, my mother, my aunt, and my grandmother, (all without knowing they influenced me), made me swallow my words and say, “shit… I’m going into education.”