A Favorite Subject

A Favorite Subject by Melissa Perez, SED 2016

I work as a tutor for Boston University’s Initiative for Literacy Development. I tutor kids at the Edison K-8 School. While I enjoy learning how to become a better teacher as I work with these students, I believe that the small conversations in between sessions are what shape us into better people.

Last Monday, a girl in the first grade asked me to read her a story as she handed me a thick chapter book. I agreed to read to her while thinking there was no way that I was going to keep her attention long enough to even read through the first chapter. Just as I had thought, after reading through the first three pages, she stopped me and asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I told her that I wanted to be a teacher. Just as I had said that, her big brown eyes lit up and she replied “I want to be a teacher too!” So I asked her what her favorite subject was, giving her a few examples, such as math, science, history, or English. After thinking for a minute, she asked, “Is playing a subject?” I paused for a moment as my heart began to melt and answered, “yup!” She then said, “okay, that’s my favorite subject.” Just then, it was time for recess, so I put the book away as the curly haired little girl ran outside with her friends.

As a future math teacher, if my students do not learn the Pythagorean Theorem, I hope that they will at least learn to pursue their dreams. Even though people have questioned my desire to become a teacher, I have not let their negativity stop me from doing what makes me happy. Being an example of someone who pursued her passion for teaching, I hope that students will be encouraged to “find what makes their heart sing,” as one of my favorite teachers in high school used to say. I hope that as a teacher that I can learn how to encourage my students to follow their passions; even if that means that one day they’ll study the art of playing.

Artwork by Andrew Barlow

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