Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Spontaneity of Education

One of the best thing about being a teacher is that you become a very transparent and reflective individual. As I move into my second year of teaching and embark on this journey at a new school with new children, I have tired to block out the 10 months of my first year of teaching. The 2009-2010 school year ended on a very bitter and sour note. For the first time in my life I realized how and why our, yes OUR public education systems have failed across the board.

Working for DC Public Schools truly showed me why our children are significantly behind in reading and math. It is a sad day when adults allow adult issues and drama interfere with educating children. From the header to the footer, dysfunction reined supreme in the nation's capital public schools. The stories and actual accounts of this dysfunction left me wanting to leave the teaching profession all together and not look back.

Last school year I work at school where I got punched 5 times in the face and my foot fractured due to students pushing me down the stairs in order to go witness a fight. I have seen the art teacher get drugged down the hallway by her neck by students. Students have busted out windows, vandalized property, exhibited gross disrespect, and through all this administration did nothing. In fact the principal at my old school was nauseatingly ineffective, disrespectful, unsupportive, and exceptional unprofessional. Through all this and more students' test scores on the DC-CAS Biology exam improved. Yes that is a triumph but still so much work to be done!

As I start this new position at a charter school, I can't but help recall and reflect on the year I had in the classroom; it is still fresh in my mind. There are hundreds of educators who have experienced my battle. We have witnessed the spontaneity of dealing with human products, of seeing countless incidents of adults playing and pawning with children's lives. You would think with horror stories like that, one would leave the classroom.

I find it amazing that I stepped foot into a classroom again. Although its like night and day at my new school, I am still haunted and troubled of not only the year I had but the fact that we have failed our children! With each comes a new set of students, new expectations, and new experiences, but what we can never change is the course that all these variables will take during the school year.

I have shared my experience in hopes that our classrooms will get better. That schools operate and function for the sole purpose of educating and nurturing children. As I reflect on what works and what does not in my classroom, we, as a country need to reflect on the overall disregard for public education and how we can act as a catalyst to ensuring EVERY child has access to a quality education.


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