This was a good teacher week. It was a good teacher week because I felt that there was at least one lesson that really hit the kids. It was a good teacher week because we ended positively. It was a good teacher week because I slept a lot. It was a good teacher week because two different people from my childhood showed me they cared because they saw an area where I was needy and provided. It’s things like that — not advice, not suggestions — just physical funds, resources, or labor, that really speak to me as a teacher, right now.
Today, I also happened upon THREE DIFFERENT teacher-related links that were all so good. I think these are good for everyone to read. It speaks to me, as a teacher, but should also let people know a bit of what teachers experience.
I’m working on different parts of this list written by Justin Stortz, a former teacher who is incredibly vulnerable in his posts. Last year, I was thisclose to burnout, and I wish he had written this post sooner. And I’ve already learned the hard way why it is important to stay humble and not “set yourself and your class up for failure by letting your ego get in your way.” Also, this year, I’m trying to maintain a hobby (working out and writing), trying to cook more, and I put myself on a sleeping schedule.
Inspiring kids? Inspiring kids can be downright damned near close to impossible sometimes. And… it’s downright damned near close to impossible to measure. You can’t measure inspiration by a child’s test scores. You can’t measure inspiration by a child’s grades. You measure inspiration 25 years later when that hot-shot doctor, or lawyer, or entrepreneur thanks her fourth-grade teacher for having faith in her and encouraging her to pursue her dreams.
Maybe that’s why teachers get so little respect. It’s hard to respect a skill that is so hard to quantify.
Fellow teacher friend and HGSE grad shared this link on Facebook. Dennis Hong, a molecular biologist – turned – teacher shares a few tidbits on what teaching is and why it’s so hard. A short, thought-provoking piece from an apologist for teachers.
A few months ago, I walked past a “successful” charter school here in Harlem, NY, speed-walking to get my school supplies for the coming school year. I noticed a huge crowd of mostly Black and Latino families all waiting to pick up their children when a taut, pony-tailed White man came out with a clipboard and yells, “Alright, parents, we need everyone to line up!” My inner voice yelled “What!?” at the entire scene. No one protested. A few snickered and rolled their eyes. They all got in one straight line, parallel to Malcolm X Boulevard to pick up their children.
This would have never gone down at a suburban school.
Jose Vilson, hits on a piece of white privilege that we so often ignore. Also, coming from a successful charter school, I see this all the time. It’s articles like this that reminds me that it should not be so normal to witness this kowtowing as schools begin to own the children. I rage about families that don’t support their children, but in the same sense, we should be helping families support their children, not just forcing our parenting upon the families.