Yo Allah

“Yo Allah, what’s up?”

Tomorrow I will finish my third week of my teaching fellowship with Chicago Teaching Fellows. I am taking classes on education (theories and practice) at Northwestern University. At the same time, I spend my weekday mornings from Monday through Thursday at Paul Robeson High, located at 6835 S. Normal Blvd. It is about five miles south of U.S. Cellular Field, where the White Sox play.

The best comment I can make about my students is that they make me laugh every day. One of my students calls me Allah because I told him I was Muslim. “Allah, I need some help with this question.” He asked me if I worship that elephant thing and I said, “No, that’s Hindus.” Some of my students asked me about my favorite food so I tried explain biryani to them. I said that it has chunks of spicy lamb with yellow rice, topped with a yogurt sauce. They asked me if I liked pork and were shocked when I told them that I don’t eat any pork. Not even bacon? No. But you eat ham, right? NO. Man I love me some pig’s feet. Bo-oy you put some hot sauce on pig’s feet. . .

I went to a career fair today at McCormick Place. At the start, there was a speech by Dr. Harry K. Wong, a published author and education expert. I learned a lot from him. He emphasizes the importance of classroom procedures – orderly step-by-step processes for the classroom that the teacher explains and reinforces.

At the career fair, I did get a chance to give my resume to about eight different schools. I didn’t get any interviews today but from what I heard, very few people did. The only person I heard that got an interview was Kasia, another Teaching Fellow, who speaks Polish and applied to teach at a school with a large Polish community. But hope springs eternal and I am hopeful that I will get a callback from one of the schools from the fair.


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  1. #1 by Nina on October 29, 2008 - 4:33 pm

    Hi “Allah”!

    My name is Nina, I liked you blog post and want to apply for the Chicago Teaching Fellows; I also have a few questions I hoped you could answer.

    When did you hear back after going through the interview process that you had been accepted?

    It seems that you have to get a job offer to get hired, they do not place you in a school?

    Also, do you apply to a university as one normally would upon being accepted into the program? Or again do they place you?

    In concern to the content area tests, did you just take what you felt you had the most background in?
    I am a communication major and would prefer teaching language arts, reading or literature, but would teach one of the high need subjects such as math or science, I have no Spanish background but I have a background in French.

    Any suggestions for what I should do now to better my chances of getting accepted into the program?
    I already have a couple teaching related things I’ve done and some extra curricular activities that I’ve participated in my freshmen and sophomore year. I’m planning on volunteering over the summer in a teaching or tutoring program and perhaps getting involved with a school club that is also related.

    I have a lot of questions I know! I hope that you are able and willing to answer my questions. Thank you in advance!!

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