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About this blog: I am a language arts teacher at Crittenden Middle School and the facilitator of the CMS Panther Pen blog. I grew up in the Bay Area and I love it here. I went to school in Santa Clara, and studied literature and political science ...  (More)

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Who do I admire? My students.

Uploaded: Sep 22, 2014
Each year in my Exploratory elective we end our Public Speaking unit with a speech about "A Person I Admire," and every year I am blown away by the sincerity, thoughtfulness, and resilience that shines through their words. This year was no exception, and by the end of the class we were all laughing, crying, and cheering each other on. I am in awe of how much my students go through every day, and still come to school ready to learn and participate. Who do I admire? I admire my students every day.

Here is one (anonymous) submission from last week that had me in tears. Thank you for your honesty, and being brave enough to share with us!

Cheers, Ms. Jenson

Who do I admire the most? My brother, A---. He taught me how to take care of myself, stay safe, and taught me all the street rules. Three reasons why I admire him are for being strong, being a caring person, and changing.

My older brother was strong in a metaphoric way. After my father left he stepped up, he would help as much as he could with the rent. It seemed as if the rent raised each month, and each month it got harder. Even though I was only three at the time, I have these faded memories of him coming home from school and getting dressed to help at a local skate shop.

About a year later, we moved to Oakland. He was then 16 years old, living by street rules. He left the house because he didn't want my mom to see what he was becoming, so he moved in with my cousin. My brother would always be helping people out in any way that he could. He'd let people crash on his couch, give them some money, or help getting others out of trouble.

The last reason why I admire my brother is because after all that he'd been through he straightened himself out. He began to do this once he found out that his girlfriend was pregnant. He picked himself up out of the ditch that he had dug and trapped himself in. He was doing good, he even knocked me straight when I wasn't doing so good. However, this deteriorating world that we live in can't stand to see someone become successful.
I admire my brother because he stepped up as the man of the house at the age of 14, because he cleaned up his life and because he always helped people when they were down 'til his last day in this oblivious world.


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Comments

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Panther fan, a resident of Waverly Park,
on Sep 22, 2014 at 6:43 pm

Wow! Great writing, great story. The best writing comes from the heart -- thank you so much for sharing.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Steven Nelson, a resident of Cuesta Park,
on Sep 26, 2014 at 10:46 am

As a MVWSD Trustee, I like following this teacher's blog - for the different perspective on the students in our District, and the teaching staff that inspires them. It is one thing to get 'a Trustee meeting Powerpoint report from a district administrator' and a different thing to see the students and their work at a classroom level. I no longer work as a roving substitute teacher for the MVWSD (I distinctly remember substituting some for Carolyn- another English Language teacher at Crittenden - about 3 to 5 years ago).

So, Thanks! I'll remember efforts like these - as I participate in Closed Session on the Agenda Item of Teacher Negotiations at the MVWSD Special Board Meeting this afternoon.


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