I’m a problem-solver. I pride myself on my ability to dive into a situation and work toward a solution. I don’t really get emotional when I know there’s work to do. Sure, I get overwhelmed or tired. I get stressed. But I don’t usually get emotional. Teach for America promised me new experiences and they’ve really delivered.
Today, I’m mad. I’m furious. I’m sad. I’m combative. And i’m taking it out by aggressively hitting these keys as I try to spread some awareness.
I’ve worked in Title One schools before…but this was a whole new level. All my professional development in my district so far was inspiring. Of course I’d encountered staff who seemed to accept that some students just weren’t worth the time, effort, and patience that would be required to see them succeed. Others seemed content to cast judgements and conclude that some students were “unteachable” Of course, I don’t agree. I get a little frustrated, but I plan to vent that in hard work and real change for my students. Of course many find that naive. Of course I was sure I’d prove them wrong. I never expected TFA to be easy. I relished the challenge. I had visions of inevitable breakthroughs i’d share with my students. And then reality happened. Today I excitedly joined 2 other TFA corps members to decorate and prepare our rooms. We found this:
That’s mold. On every desk. We wiped down one side of one desk (shown above). Our students are supposed to take pride in THIS? I understand that there are economic disadvantages in my district but why are we ordering new Ipads and not replacing the basics? What does a class set of laptops or a smart board in every room really mean if our kids aren’t in a clean and safe environment? What are the priorities of our educational system? How is my school working to change it? Are we? Can we? Can I? This is happening here, in our communities. Why are we tolerating it? And this is only a symbol. This is only day one.