Friday, October 12, 2007

Good riddance, Mr. Chips

If you enjoyed my last entry, you're probably under the impression that everything is hunky dory in Miss Brave's teaching life. It's just the way it happens in those teaching movies: She's off to a rocky start, but she plays the ragtag bunch of kids from the wrong side of the tracks a cool song and voila! She wins them over and the real learning can begin!

I may be new to this, but I think it's pretty safe to say that's rarely the way it works in real life. There are no epiphanies, and with most of my classes, I have to start fresh and win them over every single lesson. Those green-day first graders I wrote about a few entries back? They went right back from green to "make Miss Brave tear her hair out red" the very next day, and they've been there ever since.

I've been looking on the bright side because that's what makes for the happy anecdotes, the ones that make you smile and say "aww, teachers are changing the world!" But the unvarnished truth is this: I'm unhappy.

I should probably treat this as a "teachable moment" and tell you why, but another truth is this: It's Friday night at 9:15, I have to take two teaching exams all day tomorrow (because the DOE will not let me rest until they've sucked me dry of every dollar I've earned), and I'm about to go to bed. I've had enough teachable moments for a lifetime.

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