wise words on the state of education

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”-Nelson Mandela

People, other than teachers and their compatriots, are realizing that greed and poverty are behind the lack of progress of many of our children in public schools.


leaving teaching

Is this really some kind of coconut festooned with this joyful yet tentative message?

I am in the last week, possibly the very last week, probably the very last week of my schoolteaching career.  It makes me sad.  I have also started an online course for dealing with fibromyalgia.  These two things have me facing some of my sadness–that I’m kinda sick, that I’m not really a good teacher anymore, that I might become kinda poor after this, that I am standing before the unknown.  These things make me sad.  It makes me sad to think that I went into teaching to try to be, as my professor said, “an agent of change.”  And for a time I was.  I did good work.  And then came the NCLB and the high stakes standardized testing, and the distrust of creativity in the classroom, and the push to teach non-fiction rather than fiction, and, and, and mean parents, and lawyers, and program improvement and on and on.  And all of that makes me so sad I can’t help but cry.  And I think it’s very possible that the only way to move toward happiness (not that that’s even the right goal,I think it’s betterness I’m aiming for) is to acknowledge how sad this is.  And how much I wanted to help these kids and how I did for a while, and now I feel that I’ve failed.  And so I will try to walk away with my head held high and look toward betterness.

through the window

through the window I see you

In the holding pattern before school lets out…fibrofog-end-of-the-school-year-teacher…I’m so tired.  At the end of the day my mind says to me, “I’m not functional”  It’s different than disfunctional.  It’s non-functional.  So I don’t get much done but work.  I’m  living in my little unconscious dream of hard work and later chips and wine and books and tv.  Waiting, waiting, to come alive again to myself.  Underneath all of this dissociated blahness, though…something is happening…the unconscious keeps spinning its web…doing its thing…and I can see little shimmers of my awakened self, just over the sill.  Just there.  Over there.  I, awakened, feeling great, finding the new path, just over there.