How did I get here?

I write this as I sit at my desk during 3rd period, on a wet, rainy day at the end of November. My students are working on a multimedia activity using my classroom set of Chromebooks. I love days when I use the Chromebooks. I don’t have to stand and talk all period. Five hours of standing and talking fries my mind and makes my sciatic nerve throb. I’m not so young no more. Twenty years of standing did this to me. And no, the squishy insoles don’t work.

I keep getting up to help kids who didn’t bother to listen to the directions. At times, I am reminded of a line from a poem by Steven Jesse Bernstein:

“These men look confused, like fish being clubbed on the pier.”

As an aside, Bernstein killed himself. Anyway, replace the word “men” with “students” and you’ll understand what the inattentive kids look like. Mouth-breathers.

My teaching situation is actually quite fantastic. I work at a upper-socioeconomic school where many students and parents value education. I have all the latest classroom gear: projector, sound system, microphone, etc. I teach science, which interests me. I have only one prep. I like and respect both the principal and assistant principal, and they take good care of me. And the kids… many of them actually say “thank you” as they leave the classroom! Most of them are sweet and earnest. It’s a good gig. I like my job and want to do a good, solid job of educating these little 12- and 13-year olds. So why am I so cynical?

To be continued…


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