Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Accidental Hip-Hop Teacher

It's been awhile. I think the reason I've been resistant to update this blog is because I feel like I have to report on my after-school program, and I don't love the update. But in the spirit of "growing" and "letting go" as the tagline of this very blog reads, here it is.

I have five students (which is two more than I had last week).

And I'm teaching hip-hop, which I'd say is the form of dance I am least comfortable with. But these kids are not into modern dance. They're into hip-hop. And hip-hop (or "hippity-hop" as my mom calls it) they shall have.

So the BEAR program (Building Enrichment Arts Resource) is not a wild success. But, as I have to remind myself, it is also not a failure. No, I'm not teaching 30 kids. But you know what? I probably couldn't handle 30 kids. Ninth graders are loud, man. And they're like magpies, getting distracted by shiny things. I have five students - but they are awesome. There's one kid who is so comfortable in his fabulously gay skin that it makes me want to cry tears of joy. With all the recent stories of homophobic bullying, it's so refreshing to see a kid that is allowed, nay, encouraged by his peers to be whoever he wants to be.

I was tempted to give up. And I've been getting butterflies in my stomach every Monday and Thursday morning knowing that I have to teach, entertain, impress and corral my five students. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not that great at hip-hop and also not that great at telling ninth graders to quiet down and pay attention. But I'm there. And I'm learning. And so are they.


Matholomew Langopoloski said...

I'd call it a success. Having had a few years of experience with 9th graders, I can relate.. and yes teaching THIRTY of them (HIPPITY HOP DANCING NO LESS) would have destroyed you, like a gaggle of hellish imps rending your grey matter whilst prancing to Lady Gaga played at 7 rpm on a phonograph made from the sinews of lesser educators.

Seriously though, no matter how many or few you are teaching, never underestimate the power of a positive adult presence in a young person's life:)

NoHoJax said...

thank you! :)