Let me get straight into it and give you the lowdown on yours truly:
My name is Yu and I am going to be one of your student bloggers. I was born in China and moved to the United States at age five. After doing the whole childhood / angsty teenager thing for a while, I headed off to college intent on studying history and becoming a hotshot lawyer.
That's when everything went awry.
After graduating from Penn in 2010, I taught/tutored as part of a service program called MATCH Corps. It was only supposed to be a one year gap in my master plan before taking the LSAT and heading off to law school, but urban education grew on me and ultimately become a calling. I've spent the past four years teaching a motley crew of subjects (World History, English Literature, AP English, Physics) and coaching sports at an alternative school called Phoenix Charter Academy. Phoenix is a Massachusetts charter school network that specifically enrolls and serves low-income students with behavioral, academic, or social-emotional issues that prevented them from being successful at traditional district schools.
So why business school? I can give you the whole speech complete with bells and whistles later, but the gist of it is that I want to make education- urban education in particular- a more sustainable, viable career path. All the teachers I have met work incredibly long hours, sacrifice countless weekends lesson planning and grading, and ride the emotional rollercoaster with our students- yet that in it of itself is part of the problem- at some point we all run out of steam. What can Anderson teach me about keeping teachers happy, balanced, and coming back to the classrooms? That's what I'll be packing my stuff into a dinged-up 2008 Honda Civic in mid-August and driving 3,000 miles to LA to find out.
Between now and then, I've got quite the grocery list to check off, including...
- finding an apartment in LA
- brushing up on my Excel skills (currently non-existent)
- working as a summer intern with my charter school network's development and operations team
- growing out my hair from East Coast-teacher crew cut into luxurious locks of West Coast sunshine
That's it until next week. In the meantime, check out the Facebook page for one of Anderson's most popular student organizations - Challenge For Charity. It's one of the clubs I am definitely hoping to join when I arrive on campus and their page really gives into an "authentic feel" for both C4C and the Anderson student body.