Mrs. Love's Blog-0-Rama!

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" (Mary Oliver)

Mrs. Love's Blog-0-Rama!

Lost.

April 12, 2012 · 2 Comments · Being a better teacher

Imagine a path: it’s sunny, the green leaves fluttering overhead, cheering and waving you on, little woodland creatures doing their woodland creature things, and there are plenty of granola bars and juice boxes for the trip. Upon turning a corner, or two, the creatures aren’t so friendly, and nothing but red eyes stare at you through thorny bushes, and the sky darkens in the middle of the day. The compass spins, the map gets wet, and the shelter is torn. The guide who was helping you with a lantern has vaporized, and your matches are soggy and can’t light the lamp.

Can anyone help me out of these woods?

I have not posted in four months because every time I scribe in my head, I hear my mother’s voice, “You better be careful! Watch what you say!” and she’s right. My husband just told me that things are moving in a horrifying direction in terms of personas, personal information, and our private and publics lives: employers are apparently demanding from potential candidates their Facebook passwords so they can review their Facebook lives, and there are companies whose job it is to use these social media posts as a means of background checks. So when I say I am worried that anything I say on my teaching blog will somehow harm my career, I have good reason.

But hear me clearly: My students are amazing people. This is not about them, nor will it ever be. I just re-read a remarkable short story by the quietest of students that broke my heart. They came to me each day with smiles, hearty “Hello Mrs. Love!” and so much affection and sweetness I am blessed every day. And how do I repay them? With tests, tests, tests, and more tests. And these tests aren’t even valid. Questions have typos. There was one question on the test I literally could not answer, nor could the Language Arts team.

Crud. Now I am crying. I am crying because I am tired. I am crying because our latest principal has to go. This was my fourth principal in five years. The administration has rolled over more than I can count. We are so desperate as a staff there have been those who have sent e-mails to former administration begging them to come back. I am crying because guns have entered my district. I am crying because I want to take all the tests and scantron sheets to the recycling center and just have kids read books and write stories. I want them, for at least the year they are with me, to enjoy their world and get to know their own minds. I am exhausted by the waste, the money at the top, and to color me discouraged would be an understatement.

I got my National Board’s certificate in the mail the other day. They used my short name, not the one I asked when they said I passed. I called them, and they were very nice and corrected it. Got the new corrected one, and the post office crunch it up. There is a big fold in the middle.

This week is my spring break. I forced myself to check email, and see what I can get done. Some of the e-mails made me so furious: many are grown in arrogance, some in desperation.

I am just trying to figure out, what do people want? What are their motivations? Is it really about greed? Empire building? What? WHAT?! But hey, I’m the lucky one. I still get to go in my room and get smiles and hugs from kids, many of whom come back to visit. They know I believe in them. Now if I could only get administration, districts, and a nation to believe in me.

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2 Comments

  • blog0rama

    I needed to hear those words. Thank you so much, sir.

  • Philip Cummings

    Hey, Mrs. Love-

    I hear you, and yes, I’m still out here reading, writing, thinking, and occasionally not hurting myself.

    I hear what your saying about our “transparency” and how it can easily become about image fortification a weapon turning on itself. My feelings on the topic are mixed & wandering. I distrust the data collectors, but at the same time I long for a world of openness and honesty. I’m not perfect-far from it. I’ a living, breathing, laughing, and crying individual. Is perfection what others (employers & “friends”) expect of me? Or do they want the real me? I’m not certain I can deliver either online. Can anyone?

    Aren’t kids amazing? I’ve fallen in love with teaching again this year. It’s been hard…and wonderful. I landed in the sweet spot of this profession and I think I’ll stay put for awhile. Teaching is an exasperating adventure–a paradox profession. (Did I steal that from John T. Spencer? Perhaps.)

    THEY believe in you. Not them, but THEM–the ones who HUG, who SMILE, who RETURN. You are THEIR advocate–THEIR champion. And THEY are the rebellion we are raising up to withstand the empire.

    I’ve rambled enough. Thanks for your voice. Carry on.

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