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Essay about If You Hear Me Reflection

Mr. Michie was a unique and inspiring young individual for many inner city school students. These children had a difficult time surviving in life let alone in school a school system, because they did not have sufficient resources or a structural quality lifestyle. They came from poverty, gangbanging, parents without proper educations, and dysfunctional family structures. Many of these children did not have role models to guide them through the hardships of life, which made it difficult for them to change their current position in life.

Michie aimed to show the virtuousness and possibility that reside in all children regardless of their backgrounds and locations. Majority of society saw these children hopeless and lost causes, but Mr. Michie saw his students as resilient, courageous, and creative who could make a positive difference in the world. He was neither judgmental nor stereotypical, but instead he believed his students should’ve had the same resources and opportunities like everyone else. He wanted to contradict cultural deficit thinking about urban students and to document conditions through his writing.

Lastly, he wanted to express to his children that it was necessary a need of a greater investment in education in order to achieve life. His main objective through this book was to highlight the voices of urban students who were not being heard, hence, the title Holler if You Hear Me. He was open-minded character who was willing to learn and grow from his student, as well as teaching them in the most professional fashion. I am determined that Mr. Michie believed good teachers are crucial in helping students achieve, and they can make a difference in a student’s life.

But at the same time he understands that there are larger social problem, such as poverty, lack of opportunity, discrimination, violence that can’t be solved by good teaching alone. Michie was a young and ambitious individual who was not satisfied with his first official career, which was in the media industry. As a young man Mr. Michie dreamt about having a career in the media industry, but when he finally reached that goal he realized the media industry was not bring him the joy and happiness he was seeking.

He wanted to get into teach because he came from a teaching background. His first school He wanted to change his life around and try a new profession, but in college he had obtained limited skill sets in college, which were media/art/video. Like I mentioned early he started his career in the media industry because in college that was his choice of study. Gregory started his new journey as a temporary sub at a school where it was predominately African American, and eventually his position became permanent.

He wasn’t fully qualified or did not have the corresponding licenses to teach, but due to the circumstances he was fortuned enough to become their permanent teacher. The first person Mr. Michie introduced to us was an eighth grader from Ralph Ellison Educational and Vocational Guidance Center. Tavares was a bright loud, and outspoken student who questioned policies. Instead of answering Mr. Michie’s questioned he redirect his question with a question of his own, which was “Why are teachers allowed to bring food and eat it in their classroom”.

He was disputing the fact that teacher are using double standards. The children of Ralph Ellison Educational School were not permitted to bring snacks/soda in the classrooms. He managed to ignite a spark of interest in the classroom where the student wanted to host a group activity of a mock trial; Tavares was very determined to be the lawyer the student body, but his peers did not elect him as their class representative. Therefore, instead of quitting and not participating Tavares was selected to play the defense attorney.

He was a phenomenal defense attorney that in the end of the day the jury chose his side even though he was defending and representing the administrative on their behalf. At the beginning of the trial Mr. Michie believed that the teacher had no chance in the trail because the students should have been biased but Tavares managed to steal the show and help the teacher win the trail. Years later Tavares explained that after eighth grade he was involved in selling drugs, gangbanging (did not kill or steal from anyone), and living a lifestyle he wasn’t proud.

According to Tavares he got introduced into the gangs because of his Aunts older son. He was abandon from his mother and felt that he had nobody but himself. I believe the gangs stimulated the feelings of having a family or someone that protects you. I personally do not believe Tavares was not really a gangbanger, because he talked about how he didn’t want to join the gangs at first because of the values his mother instilled in him. He had to do what he thought was right in order to protect himself.

He knew what he was doing was wrong, and he admitted that it was wrong, but it at the time he believed that was his only option in life. He also indirectly mentioned talks about insecurity that he was facing during the time. He mentioned, “how a gangbanger knew he’s wrong, and what he’s doing is wrong, shooting people was wrong, but all people see is the outer part, and nobody looks within inside of these guys to see what is causing him to do to do what they do”. I believe he was trying to indirectly signal to Mr. Michie there’s a bigger picture on why he originally joined a gang.

Right after he mentioned that sentence he went on explaining some of the reason why young kids his age might be so willing to join gangs. He talks about them “being scared of being broke, scared of not having, scared of not being able to do for their parents or kids, and some of us including myself come form a background where there wasn’t a lot of love there”. I don’t believe he had negative attentions, but he did not know how to deal with his problem, and he need people Eventually we learned that Tavares was successful in turning his life around by joining a magazine selling company.

He hoped to continue bettering himself and achieving his true goals he set up for himself. What he learned from Tavares after was you have to make the classroom fun and interesting. In the beginning of the chapter they were trying to learn about the government, laws, and bills, but it wasn’t an interesting topic for the class and creating the mock trail made it more exciting for the students to learn and participate. Michie quickly discovered students like Tavares wanted to do more hands on project rather than learning from reading and using textbooks.

Group activities are important experiences for children because it develops and enhance their teamwork, leadership, and creativity. I also believe Mr. Michie learned that gang violence is a major matter that we, as Americans suffer with. Yet, it is usually the lower class Americans that deal with the strongest effect of it. In low-income families, young children are allured by the gang culture. Young individuals are attracted to street gangs, because of family stress/problems, protection against oppression, the cash they collect through illegitimate businesses, and the sense of family the gang offers.

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