Friday, November 14, 2008

Rising Water

Today in our meeting we looked at student work for a while and then were discussing how stressed everyone feels this year. We have countless meetings about how high our dropout rate is and how low the kids reading skills are and countless questions about what as teachers are we going to do about it? I have read books, attended meetings, strategized, implemented, and so on. I'm doing everything I can and yet I feel so inadequate. I regularly leave meetings feeling depressed, frustrated, and angry. I love my job, but I have thought a lot about what else I could do with an education degree (nothing). Today in the dept meeting, one of the other teachers pointed out that at some point, it is not up to us anymore. We are doing everything we can do. We are implementing things that were never even dreamed of at my old school. I am developing more as a teacher in the last two years than I did in 5 years in Texas, but in the end it comes down to the kids. I can be the most creative and energetic teacher in the world, but if that kid stayed up late last night hangin' with his crew or skipped school yesterday because he had to babysit his little brother, or didn't go home at all yesterday because his parents kicked him out after a fight, he is NOT going to care about trade along the Silk Road no matter how much I want him to. At some point change has to happen in the community. Seeing a kid for 50 minutes a day is not going to undo the other 23 hours and 10 minutes of the day, or the past 15 years of his life. At some point, the community and the values that the community has have to change in order to see real change in the kids.

It was nice to hear that we are doing everything we can.

In other weather-related news, I live next to the Green River, and the rain we had earlier this week has swollen it quite a bit. Here are some pictures....This river runs about 100 feet from my front door. That little shed usually sits about 15 feet above water level.
This tree is not usually in water at all


Colleen said...

Happy November! Don't fret. Just keep doing what you are doing. Like you said, stuff has been happening that was never dreamed of before.

The river? Holy crap! That is about all I can really say.

AndreaLeigh said...

Hey! Just stopping by from SITS to say hello. You are so right about teaching... I feel the same as a social worker. We just have to do what we can and be comfortable in that fact, because there are many other factors at work in someone's life.