My name is Patrick Wagner. I am 39 years young. I have a wonderfully supportive wife, who has let me follow my dream of becoming an urban educator in Milwaukee Public Schools. Her support and willingness to move half way across the world is something I will never fully comprehend. I have two wonderful sons, Lewis who is 7 and Lincoln who is 5. We moved to Milwaukee after 15 years of teaching in Asia (Japan, S. Korea, Vietnam, and China). I have taught in public schools in those countries from kindergarten through the university level.
I am really passionate and dedicated to educating students in Milwaukee. I feel the program at UWM has prepared well to teach in the urban setting. While there are things I need to improve on, such as classroom management and content mastery, I am fully confident I will continue to get better in those areas as the years go by. As I continue on this journey that will last a lifetime, my only hope is to continue to be empowered and inspired for the betterment of my students and their lives.
After recently reading the book, For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…. and the Rest of Y’all Too by Dr. Christopher Emdin, I am more empowered to teach in the urban setting than ever before. I fully embrace reality pedagogy and I am looking forward to employing it in my field placement this semester. The book and its concrete methods have opened a completely new world of giving students in an urban setting access to content in meaningful and real ways. As he states, “You are teacher. You are not a script follower. You are not a lesson plan regurgitator. You are a teacher. Your job, your role, your responsibility is to activate the souls, the lives of these young people. You are in there everyday knowing that that is your sole responsibility first. Once you understand that, we have tools to give you to make you do it better.”
Some links and food for thought that have and continue to inspire me are listed below:
I will leave you with a quote, “Education must enable one to sift [through] and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction. The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically…Intelligence, plus character–that is the goal of true education.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr