Tuesday, October 15, 2013

And You Wonder Why...

I'm sitting here, in my classroom.  It is the back half of a 48.  My oldest is in charge at home and graciously missing practice for me.  He is tending to the dinner needs of the muppets and the polar bears.  There was a list of chores for each.  He has already told me that he has helped the youngest with her homework.  I am indeed blessed.  He has really matured and stepped up to help me, especially when J's shifts make my life insane.  I am lucky.

Now, as I said, I am sitting in my classroom.  Clearly since I am getting this post out here, there are no parents coming to see me. :(  

And you wonder.

You can hardly see downtown or the lake. So dreary.
Now, I realize that many of our kids come from the far northwest side of town and we are on the far southeast side.  I understand that transportation is an issue.  And it is raining.  None of these things help get our parents here.

Perhaps we need to go back to neighborhood schools.  It saves a TON of money.  Clearly, as a graduate and former teacher in the world of high school of the arts, I KNOW the value of specialty schools and understand that there is transportation needs there.  BUT, for the standard high school I think it is better to have the building and teachers more accessible.  Quality teachers CAN make the difference regardless of the zip code that the building is located in.  I know that.  I have worked with some AMAZING teachers in neighborhoods most angels would fear to tread.  I feel that having the school as a centerpiece has such amazing potential.  Community support and buy in.  A feel of "these are OUR kids".  I think I have this Rockwell image of the small town football game - all over our city.  If we could just get the people to buy in and see the value of our kids.  Support them and love them.  Cheer for them and ask how school is going.  Show them they matter.  

Tonight an 87 year-old grandma came to me with her sophomore.  And she said, "And you wonder why..." as she looked around our empty halls.  She raised her 10 kids and is now helping raise the next generation.  And she has a point.  If your people don't value your education...how do we expect those kids to buy into what we are selling.  

Perhaps it is the distance.

My kids don't come to events after school or stay for tutoring, because they have an hour bus ride to get them home.  As a child who spent 9 of her 13 years in public education on an hour long bus ride, both ways, I know that sucks.  You can't get help.  You can't hang out with your friends.  They are a long way from home.

So, here I sit.  Hoping my muppets don't kill each other.  Looking at my blank wall trying to figure out what I want to do back there.  I am such a high school teacher.  I suck at bulletin boards.  I am also missing teaching US History this year...my poster collection is looking sad without the other half.  

Ah, well.  Your homework for tonight - give me ideas for these boards.  I am off to hit Pinterest for Brag Board ideas.  
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