As a new teacher, one of the tips I received while going through training was to “think back to when you were your students’ age and imagine the style of teaching that would have been effective and interesting to you.” So far this advice has been so helpful that I began to use it to relate to the students outside the classroom as well. Last Friday night as the De Smet Jesuit Spartans took on Hazelwood Central in what ended up being a nail-biting finish, I tried imagining what my high school self would be screaming and cheering at the top of my lungs to give my team a little extra energy. The first thing that came to my mind was a favorite cheer of mine from SLUH that goes a little something like this, “WHO’S WHO’S HIGH? U-HIGH U-HIGH WHAT WHAT!”
The day I found out that I would be serving at De Smet Jesuit I was filled with a mix of emotions. I was excited that I was accepted into ASC, scared that I was going to be teaching kids that look older than me, and disconcerted that I would be dedicating a year of my life to my alma mater’s rival high school. As word spread to my family and friends about my new endeavor one question that continued to be brought up in conversation was, “Is it going to be weird teaching at De Smet?” At the time my impulse response was to automatically say “yes, it is going to be very weird.”
As time went on and the initial shock of it all began to subside, I had more time to think about the goal of the program—giving back to the community for the JESUIT education that I received. It had not completely sunk in that the “other Jesuit school” in St. Louis was based on the same mission and principles and has a community very similar to the place I called home a few years ago. It did not take long after I started at De Smet to realize how foolish it was to ever think that it would be weird to teach here. The transition was like moving houses, the feeling of home is still there, but just in a different location.