Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pit of Death

One of my students, “Nick,” told me that if I don’t give him a birthday present, that he will send me to the “Pit of Death” in Sparta (think the movie 300), to burn and rot forever!

We shared a good laugh.

Needless to say, I’m gonna get my man a birthday gift- lol!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Kinda Sad

Kinda Sad..

“Kisha’s” last day was Friday. As of Monday, she will be going to another school in the Bronx. I was shocked and saddened by all of this. I asked her why, and she said because her mother wants her to go to another school. Damn. I had looked out for her, and in many ways, she had looked out for me. When I had a death in the family, she was the first to notice that something was wrong, and asked if I was all right. She was not one of my CTT students, but she needed to be- for she has major learning disabilities that have gone undiagnosed for years. She has exhausted her education like being drifted in a river, going with the current. On Friday I was real sad and disbelieved when she told me that it was her last day.

I’m sure it is for the good.. I wish her the best. It was a sad moment. She’ll be all right.. I hope and, I know…

Monday, February 4, 2008

A great day...

I have a student who I am so thankful for. He is the hope, the future, and the prospect of what it means to be young and Black. My man is intelligent beyond means. His purpose and his desire to be a King in the modern world is undeniable.

Of course he is misunderstood. He was suspended the other week from school. But like I told him, this is what they want for him.

He is part of the alternative, Afro-punk crowd. He is somewhat of a mis-fit, much similar to how I was in middle school. Fully aware of who he is, yet he is utterly confused with how he fits into this systemized edifice. But I learn from this cat, everyday. He and I have been challenging each other to read a book a week. We meet every Monday to discuss the book we read the previous week. Our books are fascinating. We sometimes read eachother’s books- and always suggest new ones to read.

He just finished What is the What, a powerful book about Sudan- and I am finishing an incredible Octavia Butler piece, Wild Seed. He sent me an email a few minutes ago with a link to a DOPE Barack video called YES WE CAN.

To me, he is the hope of the future- my comrade and a powerful young revolutionary.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Last week

Walking down the hallway on Friday to punch out, I was a walking zombie. Last week was probably the toughest since the 1st. What made it so difficult? I guess while I have been continuously defining the teacher within me, I have had some major developments, or realizations recently. Not only do I have to work much harder with the teachers that I am working with to make sure that I am fully co-teaching, but my whole take on teaching has to shift. Tonight I made several phone calls to parents. My students are quite comfortable with me. And that has worked to my advantage for the first few months, but is seemingly back-firing. I have to be a more strict, more definitive, more controlling teacher.

This process of becoming the teacher I want to be is no joke. Middle school is no easy feat either. I am trying to rewind my mind- taking it back to being 12 years old. Acne, girls, farting inappropriately, not wanting to be smart, fresh clothes, clean sneakers, poor body odor, not turning homework because I thought I would “look better”, multiple school suspensions: Middle school was some of the toughest times of my life:-a time period I could never relive and a time period I wish so desperately to re-live.

What would I do differently, what would I omit?