Each day I walk into my own classroom. Each day I stand before students who have book bags that I would never dare look into, believing that ignorance is bliss. I don’t want to know who’s packing and who’s dealing. A stupid sentiment, I’m sure. But am I really any safer knowing what they carry? Or will it only make me more paranoid? Everyday at work, we teachers know exactly what we walk into. Last week a former student was shot by police after a brief foot chase. Had he not pulled his gun, they probably wouldn’t have fired. Incidentally, he’s considered a “person of interest” in his stepfather’s murder. Two weeks ago a seventeen-year-old girl died from an apparent overdose. The woman whose baby was found under the bed… yep, had connections here. Each term, at least one student will have to drop out due to incarceration. Students who go m.i.a. are common.
We walk into that and we teach and we try so damn hard to pull those who want to learn up to where they want to be but don’t quite have the coping skills to do on their own. We pester and cajole, bribe and bargain. Let me help you. Come to class. If you at least try, I can show you where you’re right and where we can work to improve. —Miki Louch —Columbine Revisited (Simple sentences sprinkled with hopes of complexity)
I just came from an evening class where we went a half hour over because every student went a few minutes over their presentation time, and the discussions were productive and thought-provoking. I’d like to think that it’s possible to make a difference, and tonight’s class and Miki’s blog entry both support that belief.
I was going to stay at the office and work late in order to catch up, but pfft. I’m going home to my family.