Thursday, September 21, 2006


There are good things
R., A., & M., three kids with the lowest English language fluency and they're participating constantly and accurately.

Lunchtime basketball and there's more athleticism than I've seen in a while.

Fourth week and I rocked differentiated grouping with plot mountains, six kids with me at the overhead, three kids working individually, and the rest in partners, eventually being helped by the three who worked independently and then circulated to provide support. And it was near-perfect.

There are not-so good things
H.P. A and there's 32 when I'm used to 22-26. It's so much harder to be everywhere at once with those numbers, so much harder to build in multiple interactions, so much harder to stop talking about it with other people.

Saturday classes in the Masters program 8:30-4:00. No one likes that.

156 instructional minutes daily and I still can't get done the things that need to get done, and there's CELDT testing, flatbook intro, reading log intro, and class jobs intro left to do.

There are things that are unspeakable
You hear about the kids you taught in years past through a variety of sources, and sometimes on the same day you find out that one of them was clubbed to death in a gang killing and the one you knew was pregnant at 14 was beaten into a miscarriage by her boyfriend. You hear about the kids you used to teach, kids like those two girls, and you have this mantra about basic skills, empowerment, self-esteem, self-determination, and you sort of repeat it all the way up 280, even though you don't believe in it enough to put flesh to it in this space, currently.


Blogger posthipchick said...

Oh god, that sucks.

9:51 PM  
Blogger pseudostoops said...

Oh, man, I'm sorry.

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Muriel said...

I'm sorry too.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Onyx said...

One of my former students took his own life. I feel the same pain. We come to love thes kids liek they were our own and we hurt when bad things happen to them. I am so sorry. Take deep breaths and know that you are not alone

11:01 PM  
Blogger A.R. Linder said...

Thank you so very, very much--I was feeling so alone in my philosophy. Almost twenty years ago the military told me that if I lost a trainee, it was because I had not found a way to teach them. They put the ball flatly in my court and I played some good ball. The websites we have put together at my site YouthPlay are the ones that I have used to take my own child where I could not get her teachers to go. In our little country town in Southwest Georgia where African Americans live primarily on the poverty line , I have a produced an Ivey League potential because I showed my child's teachers the way. Unfortunately, I'm only one child's mother. There are so many children being left behind.

12:21 PM  

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