feelingsfinal Essay Teachers Cognition

Mr. Lessing
Sarah Jordan
Experiments in Reading Literature and the World
(Feelings) p. 4
“Oak Park and River Forest High School exists to provide all students a superior
education so that they may achieve their full human potential” (OPRFHS’ mission statement).
The school both succeeded and failed me.
It seemed the school could only help a student if they
saw potential in certain abilities. I learned I had two kinds of potential, academic and artistic. I
found a calling outside of high school that was equally demanding. This created a tension that I
had to resolve. In third grade my parents took me out of a conventional school because
they didn’t “get” me there, and enrolled me in a small Montessori school where learning was
individualized. I learned skills and values that prepared me to flourish intellectually in high
school. I arrived at OPRF with a passion for learning.
My parents did not e
xactly agree on what they expected me to learn in high school. My
dad had a fantasy that I would receive a broad, liberal education but he recently realized he
didn’t get that until college. My mom’s hope for me was to learn how to function and learn in a
conventional school. She wanted me to be passionate about learning even if I did not have the
relationship I had with my teachers in Montessori. I surprised her because I learned how to
advocate for myself and she did not expect that to be part of the process. My ability to be self
advocating helped my teachers understand me and taught them how to help me. I was clear to
explain what help I needed and how I needed it. The school provided accommodations through
my IEP that I needed to succeed. I proved that accommodations are successful with students like
me. Usually I would request extra time for tests and sometimes ask to present or express my
knowledge in an unconventional way. I found in OPRF that many of my teachers were flexible