I am not a blogger. Or, at least, I wasn't, until right now! I have never written a blog before, and I hardly ever read them. Actually, I didn't really understand the concept until maybe a year ago. Time to start clicking away...
Well, a lovely friend of mine, The Hairoine, recently started a blog all about.....yes.....HAIR! (Check it out here on Blogspot. She's truly a genious beautician, AND she'll bring you to stitches!) So of course out of loyalty, and the knowledge that my friend is an amazing writer who, without a doubt, would make me giggle, I checked out HER blog. It was informative and entertaining, and expressed her passion for her chosen career. So I thought, well, I can do this, too! I have ooodles and oodles of passion for my career! I love to write, and my plan is to write a book on the very same topic of this blog.
Which brings me to the true purpose of my blog....but be patient with me, friends, it's still perculating.....
I am a teacher. I teach sixth grade English.
TEACHING IS FUN!!! No really, I'm serious. There is no sarcasm there at all.
There is so much America needs to know about this manner of earning a living. Why, you ask? Because we are talking about the FUTURE of AMERICA, people! You know, the future teachers, doctors, lawyers, waiters, actors, garbage men, bartenders, store clerks, journalists, politicians, and most importantly, parents. It's a sobering thought, but one day, most of my students will have children of their own.
I have 59 sons and daughters this year, not including my own flesh and blood. Many of them have parents who are raising them to be good human beings, and some of them do not. Someone has to teach these kids how to resolve conflicts peacefully, love themselves, and most importantly, to have hope and work hard to acheive their dreams. I have learned in my eight years in the profession, teaching on almost every grade level, (including infants and toddlers) students of countless socio-economic backgrounds, cultures, and creeds, that we can no longer rely only on their parents to teach them how to find their way through this insane world. We can only hope they are actually BEING parents, but we can't bank on it. Why have I come to this conclusion?
You should see the way some of my students act. Their lack of self-control and respect for themselves, adults, and most of all, each other, goesway beyond simple prepubescent raging hormanes or testing-my-limits syndrome. I have to discipline myself every day to dig very, very deep to find the conscience, the good, and the kindness in some of my students. It's there, it just needs to be brought to their attention.
But then, between the curse words and fighting (yup, I can break one up before it even happens) and blatant disregard for their education or future, there are the ones who shine like bright stars, who show deep compassion for all people, and whose brilliant young minds will hopefully be the ones holding political power one day. I breathe a huge sigh of relief just thinking about these wonderful souls I have the priveledge of spending my day with.
....Not only will I be exploring the inside story of myself and other anonymous individuals who teach in some of the poorest areas of our nation, but I will be exploring how they are viewed by and handled by the State, the City, and the Federal Government. That would be the not-so-funny part of the blog. I will have to be careful, lest "big brother" is listening, and excersise my freedom of speech with caution.
I promise I will try as much as I can to avoid the moaning and complaining us teachers are known for (after all....we do have those wonderful perks of free summers and a few breaks during the year...and some paper-pushing cubicle-sitting people HATE us for that) but forgive me if I slip every once in a while. For example: Writing is a great way to vent...and my venting will be, well, productive in the way that it will help you to see that us educators are basically being crucified by beaurocratic people who have never set foot in a classroom, worried about a student all night long, or experienced the joy of the "a-ha!" moment.
I have decided to start blogging because I believe that people really need to know the antics that occur in inner-city schools. Not only is it interesting, but hopefully it will inspire some of you to hit up the ole voting booth, volonteer at a school, donate money, start a petition, or write to your local politician.
This inside story will be hilarious, heartbreaking, joyful, unfair, and unfortunately, at times, terrifying.
Fight it as I tried, I have come to terms with the fact that God placed me on this Earth at this time to facilitate the education of and give some love to the Future of America. I was also meant to write, to inform people of the truth in the most creative way possible using the language that I tell my students is THEIR paintbrush. So the time has come to combine my two passions. Wish me luck!
After all.......the soft and tickly smell of chalk dust will follow me to my grave....and beyond.