Friday, September 24, 2010

Get In The Classroom Or Shut Your Mouth

I commented the following on a teacher friend and former colleague's Facebook page after someone she knows wrote about how easy teachers have it.  It turns out Facebook's founder, Mark Zuckerberg has donated $100 million dollars to Newark schools and will be working with Mayor Booker regarding how it's to be used...  

Um, Danny-don't know you-but you need to get yourself in a classroom for a minute before you start talking smack like you know something. There is absolutely nothing that you could compare it to-maybe other teachers may have things a bit easier, but in Newark-there is nothing comparable. Your entire life is engulfed by it, no matter how you try to find balance.

Yahaira, we know the truth, girlfriend.

I don't know what they'll do with that money, but they need to put that check in someone's name that has NOTHING to do with that school system. The money needs to come out as a result of real systemic change taking place. Changing the "it's who you know" mentality-changing the expectation that children are only learning when they're sitting like catatonic little robots and are motivated by fear to learn rather than their natural curiosity-changing the way new teachers are NOT trained and are told to CONFORM all while preaching that kids unique abilities are to be cultivated....which is just an impossible juxtaposition.

My heart is still in Newark. I'm just not sure how long it will take for me to recover from the brokenness I feel after dedicating myself YES 24/7 to my kids and their families at Horton, I still can't visualize myself in any classroom because I remember what it felt like to be engulfed in each child's life and in my hopes/expectations for them and the incredible frustration of being limited from what I was trying to do.

According to the Huffington Post, this money will be used through a foundation to benefit schools in America with a special focus on schools in Newark.  I don't know that money itself will do the trick, but I would absolutely love to see real change in the public school system there.  TEAM charter schools are already doing an amazing job of proving that the problem is not the students or their environment, the problem is the system.  As for Mark Zuckerberg, it's so heartening to know that someone at his level of success is finding ways to share his blessings with others.


Priscila said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Priscila said...

Seester, you are such a wonderful person, sister, wife, mama and friend! I know how much you struggled with the school system in Newark. When you are ready to teach again, there will be classrooms of students waiting there for you to inspire!
<3 you!