Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Trying To Come Out On The Other Side

I did some asking around...

Turns out G., before he become the-one-who-was-there-and-won't-talk had basically never started high school, in the going-to-class kind of way. How does this happen? How do you go from honor roll to drop-out in that same 0-60 flash of sports cars and drag racers? How can all of this be so passing and weak that two years can be reversed in two months?

I'm looking around campus, seeing kids with these news eyes, this sense of what happens after you leave this increasingly unrepresentative campus. Who's not gonna make it? S., for whom basketball has been a counter-balance to over-sexualization and terrible home-life? C., who can maybe stay out of Sur-shit only so long? E., who came sprinting up to me in the fog-freeze morning to point out her name on the honor roll, before walking off with three young men whose combined ambition and work ethic could barely fill her finger?

Is this just the fault of a poorly managed, badly taught, severely over-crowded high school that hasn't figured out that uniforms are a necessity here in the red-blue tug-of-war central? That continues to place our kids in the algebra classes they've tested out of, the remedial reading classes they no longer need, and the constant danger of over-lookedness and neglect?

How to train their brains for the intellectual rigor that lies ahead, and their hearts for the increasingly cold and brutal world they are asked to navigate, mostly alone?

I'll be okay by Monday. By Monday I'll go back and dive in. We're writing paragraphs (the right way), hitting indirect characterization, present tense verbs, and there is always more vocabulary, more spelling, more phonics. I've got teams to coach, and a variety of meetings to attend, and we gotta get some field trips going. Monday things will be better.


Blogger posthipchick said...

If you want my honest opinion, we don't fail our kids. YOU certainly have not failed your kids. Poverty and society fail our kids. They will pull them back 90% of the time. Your success is shown through the other 10%. You got 10% out- you cannot change the world, but you did change some student's courses in life. It's not enough, and yet it is.

9:01 AM  

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