Jan Term Tales — Student teaches children in San Francisco

Story by David Perrier
Guest Writer

In order to practice teaching diverse groups of students, I spent the month of January teaching children in San Francisco — the home of the 49ers, Alcatraz, and hipsters.

As I stood in the front of my classroom preparing for a strenuous interrogation, I found myself wondering whether I could order a last meal from Alcatraz Prison.

Allowing students to ask their visiting teachers questions on the first day might seem innocent enough, but students have a knack at asking some of the most unexpected and potentially awkward questions.

Sure enough, my avid class did not disappoint.

After a few standard questions (like “How old are you?” and “Do you have a girlfriend?”), one of the girls in my class initiated a barrage of questions that left my head spinning.

“Have you done any shopping in San Francisco?”
“Can I take you shopping?”
“Do you always dress like that?”
“Have you ever considered dressing like a hipster?”

My students subsequently spent the remainder of the class attempting to persuade me to unleash my inner hipster. My mentor teacher jokingly assigned her students an unusual homework assignment at the end of class — to design a new hipster wardrobe for me. While their hipster plans never truly materialized, they never stopped trying. The card they gave me at the end of the trip included one short command — “better go shopping!”

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