Teachin' For America

Thoughts and otherwise on one particular Teach for America experience.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Wanted: Teacher; Must be able to carry desks; Love for children optional but discouraged

     You know, I sure am glad my kids are retarded and actually working to ensure they receive an enriching and worthwhile education is pointless.  Otherwise it would have been seriously fucked up this morning when my principal ordered me to “send [them] out” (to general education classrooms) and carry desks downstairs until lunch time.

     I really cannot believe the utter disregard (even, sometimes, disdain) this woman has for the children under her charge.  But it’s good that I’m worried about someone else’s fate in all of this, because if I was able to focus solely on myself, I would be getting pretty worked up over the fact that MOVING CHAIRS IS NOT A JOB FOR A TEACHER.  Last I checked the district still had a large enough budget to provide (courteous, hard-working, and much more than competent) custodial workers to take care of building maintenance.  And if my understanding is correct, these people are hired so that teachers might concentrate on educating the city’s children instead of maintaining the school buildings.  But maybe I’ve just got my priorities all mixed up.  I mean, after all, the new music room did need some desks from the storage room, I am an able-bodied young man capable of carrying them, and my children are special ed.  

     I’m very upset.


Anonymous Sherry Staub said...

Hi PM,
How very awesome that you are doing this. I am so proud of you.
As a teacher I relate so thoroughly to your frustrations and passions, but as someone slightly more jaded...I say...no need to take yourself so seriously.
Don't fret over missed teachable moments....there'll be plently more where those came from...(just wait until you're a parent!)
Just being there and caring teaches them so much more than your words often can.
As you have already discovered...they are teaching you.
Relax...carry the desks...consider the weight of an administrator carrying the responsibility of each and every child in their building and the "talking suits" that she has to answer to.Besides, she's someone whose good side you want to be on. Carry her desk, polish her shoes, get her coffee....get to know her as a person too. Everyone has a story.
Find out what hers is.
You are doing a great job...
You are doing a great job...
You are doing a great job...
Keep telling yourself that because most days, you'll be the only one who will. And on those days when someone else actually recognizes that and tells you....pass it on to someone else who feels like they're not.
Blessings. You're the best.

6:31 AM  

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