A Student Teaching Experience of a Lifetime

My name is Kevin Argueta. I just finished my sophomore year at Intrinsic Charter School. I’ve been at Intrinsic for four years and have enjoyed each year more than the last. Before Intrinsic, I attended a traditional public school. I switched to Intrinsic in 7th grade to follow in my brother’s footsteps. He’s a 2017 Intrinsic graduate and I’m the next in line. I’m glad I made the switch to Intrinsic because it has made learning more engaging and I learned how to be independent. My younger sister is starting 7th grade here as well in the upcoming school year.

During my freshman year, I had Mr. Walsh as a social studies teacher. Yes, he taught us history, but he also taught us how important it is to learn from history in order to make a better world today and in the future. In his class, we explored the ideas of being upstanders in today’s society. His lessons are what made me passionate about advocacy.

At the end of that year, Mr. Walsh nominated me and one other freshman to take part in a program called “Facing History and Ourselves.” This program really enhanced my love of advocacy. In this program, we learned about historical events and movements, as well as current events. Not only did we learn about these events, but we also learned from these events. We looked at factors that caused the events to see how to prevent them from happening again.

We had one meeting every month. We discussed domestic and global issues. It wasn’t just me and my peers in the program though. Many students from all around Chicago attended this program with me. While we often agree during our discussions on the various topics, we also strongly disagree with others. This opportunity taught me how to respectfully disagree with others and even how to work together with them in order to make the world a better place. We all agree that, as the future leaders of tomorrow, we want to make the world a better place.

As the year came to an end, Mr. Walsh invited me to teach a seminar to his freshmen. My lesson was based on one that I had been taught in the “Facing History and Ourselves” program. Teaching was a great experience! We started our lesson by thinking independently about concepts that are debatable. The question to think about was the following: “Do you think laws, more than people, have the power to change society for better or for worse?” We then took that general topic and applied it to current events on gun violence and racism. Each class that I taught came up with great ideas on how to use their voices publically during these challenging times to make the world a better place. It was so exciting!

This experience was overall great. I got teaching experience and I might consider becoming a teacher. It was fun and exciting. I can see myself teaching again in the near future.