Continuing with our “Why I Teach” series, here’s an inspiring personal mission statement by middle school humanities teacher, Fay Alexander. Ms. Alexander first came to CCSC last year as a Harvard senior and student teacher in Mr. Fahsel’s 7th grade classroom. We are thrilled to have her back to teach this year’s 7th grade humanities students.
Why I Teach: Ms. Alexander
People ask me why I decided to become a teacher and I say it was in college, when I had yet another professor who did not believe in my ability to succeed. It is true that my learning difference (I choose not to call it a disability because I would argue my dyslexia has made me a stronger student) made it more challenging for me to understand the content than for traditional learners. But it was by no means impossible for me to understand. My professor would not call on me and when I went to get extra help from her, she told me not to worry because she would give me an “easier” test. I had no confidence in her class.
It wasn’t until my tutor, whom I met with once a week, came to teach the class that I realized how much my teacher’s lack of confidence in my abilities affected me. With my tutor, who believed in me, leading class I felt empowered to raise my hand and contribute to the class discussions — something I never did with my professor. This experience made me realize how much a teacher can impact a student’s confidence in their ability.
I choose to teach because I want to help students achieve more than think they can. I want to instill confidence in students so that when the world tells them they can’t, they know that they can succeed.
This year I hope to expose students to the ancient world, to look at the failings and success of ancient cultures and figure out ways we can learn from them; what values and beliefs are still relevant and can be used to positively impact our today.
A graduate of Harvard University, Fay Alexander teaches 7th grade humanities and advises 10th grade students. She is also one of the faculty advisors to Student Council and Female Mentoring.