Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sigh and explode.

I can't seem to get a handle on this 2010. My kids have been off the hook since we got back from break. We have had lots of teachers out and there are never any subs so my room has had extra kids in it almost every day. It's pretty hard to get in a groove when you have kids in your room that aren't yours and they're just out to cause mayhem. The days that have been my kids alone have been days spent reclaiming what was mine. I'm very frustrated. It's always a struggle getting in the groove again with the turn of the year, but this year is particularly heinous.

Today was a struggle. It started in the yard when I picked them up and it didn't stop until I dropped them in the yard at 3. It isn't easy to teach in the 'hood. It sure isn't a game for sissies. I wish that I had some answers. Actually, I do. They might even be the silver bullets that could kill the inner city madness that I teach in. It's all Maslow's hierarchy of needs. I could get so much more done if I could help the girl in my room with the rotten teeth that keep bothering her, if I could fill the empty bellies of the boys in my room who never have enough, if I could get winter coats for the kids who have only sweatshirts to wear, and if I could get solid jobs for the parents in my class that keep losing them. It's pretty hard to concentrate when you didn't sleep in your bed last night, you slept in the train station waiting for your father. Fixing all of these things would allow us to start to teach something. Doing this is a hell of a lot harder than filling bubbles in on standardized tests.

I'm in a cynical mood, however, and I know that no one is listening who will do a goddamn thing. The Supreme Court just gave away our country to corporations and Massachusetts put the last nail in the coffin on health care. My lillylivered Democratic Party is going to slink away in defeat without attempting to do anything. Sigh.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I'm still here. Happy New Year!

Yes, the reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. I didn't die, although a very heavy bag of student paperwork nearly dislocated my shoulder in December. Happy 2010 to you and yours. I'm pleased to be teaching in 2010. I'm still in the inner city. Still teaching and trying to teach in the midst of chaos and confusion. Most of the chaos and confusion is happening in my school, at present, although I do have a few beauties in classroom that are giving me fits since we got back from Christmas break.

I wish I could report more than the usual. I don't have much. It's a rough job teaching where I work. I was reflecting today that I've lasted longer than the average new teacher. Something like half of us leave after 5 years according to I haven't left. I am trying to leave my current school. I have a couple of things going in that respect. I'll keep everyone posted.

Morale remains abysmal at my school. It's not good for the soul when everyone around you is miserable and looking for a way out. Our administration could do so much to help things and they don't care. Simple communication would do the trick, yet they don't talk to us.

On a positive note, my first semester's classes went well. I've got a 4.0. A principal's position is hopefully in my future.