Saturday, March 1, 2014


There are two things from teaching at the Catholic High School I was at for the last three years.  Some of the people, sure.  But people come and go from your life all the time.  And, we were so far removed living two counties away, that I never really bonded with the staff there.  The two MAIN things that I miss, the technology.  I admit it. I LOVED having the technology.   As a teacher, I have just as much.  Actually more.  There are more copiers/printers.  I have a desktop AND a laptop.  But, the student technology is not the same.  I miss teaching in a 1:1 classroom.  I miss being paperless.  I miss being able to switch to a new activity at the blink of an eye because someone brought up a GREAT idea.  I miss the creativity that the digital media encourages.  I miss that.

But, even more, I miss the service aspect.  

So, I am the guinea pig for the service requirements here.  We're working with UW-M, Serve2Unite, and various other neighborhood associations to be determined next week.  Yesterday was the first introduction to the project with my kids.  We did a learning circle to discuss  the project and some basic expectations. The discussion focused on what makes life better.  More specifically, what makes our community better.  I, being sheltered in my sweet little neighborhood, said that level sidewalks would make my neighborhood better.  Better for the kids learning to skate and ride bikes.  Better for the joggers who are getting their miles in.  Better.  Right?

Then you listen to the kids.

Less crack houses.

Less boarded up houses.

Less violence.

Less gun violence.

More things for teens to do.

More grass.

And then I felt horrible.  Forgetting that they may live in the same city that do, but they certainly do not live in the same world as me.  

So, I am hoping that this will make somethings better.  The neighborhood the kids choose for the project.  The focus the choose for the community mapping.  The changes they decide to implement.  I am hoping it makes them better people, better adults as they leave me.  I am hoping that it makes the community better, better for the families that live there.  I am hoping that it makes our city better, more invested in the individual neighborhoods that are too often written off because they are in the hood.  

I am hoping it makes me better.

It is a shift day.  I am in my classroom on a Saturday morning.  Blogging, grading, copying, planning.  All to make this school better.

We all need to chip and make this whole world a better place.  

What are you going to do today to make things better?

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