I now know that I don’t have to teach my students the way I was taught and that I had no idea what was going to be useful to me in the future. I graduated with a degree in international politics. Now, I’ve been teaching 18 years at North County High School in Glen Burnie. I can tell you which of my students are absent due to chronic illnesses, who is homeless, in foster care, or emancipated and trying to make it on their own. So many of my students will be the first in their families to graduate high school, and still others will be the first to attend college. When they complain that they don’t understand why they need to learn a foreign language, I can empathize. They are working so hard just to graduate.