I’m a teacher, and it’s a thankless job.

I’m a teacher. I had to deal with lockdown this morning.

The kid who brought the gun to school is in my 4th block science class. He just returned from the turning point academy - the alternative school in Char-Meck. Crazy happens all over. I already break up fights at least once a week. Yesterday I got my shoes all messed up:

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My classroom is falling apart and I don’t have time or funds to decorate the way I want:

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And the cafeteria has seats that break regularly.

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I would love to invite any politician who talks about “failing schools,” as an excuse to cut funding to spend time in my middle school. We aren’t failing. We’ve been set up to fail. Our tax base can’t cover all of our expenses  we have 20 homeless families in our school. 

We don’t have much of anything we need. We have to constantly scramble for donations just to get supplies that we need. The title I funds that bought chrome books for each student in 2016 have been cut for this year. Whenever we have a computer that breaks, or gets dropped, or needs repair, we have had to pull it out of circulation. Because of this, all work is done on paper. Last weekend I spent five hours manually grading quizzes.

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I have to stop class regularly to redirect or discipline kids - 30+ 8th graders is a huge responsibility.

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We can’t get a substitute so whenever a teacher is absent - and that’s frequent because of the additional stress we undergo - the kids are dispersed to other classrooms. About a week ago, one of the kids took a swing at the last sub that we had and he said “fuck this,” and never came back.

And yet I soldier on. Because I love it. The feeling you get when a group of kids ooh and aah over a simple science experiment is one I never want to give up.

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Oxidation of steel wool in a closed system to demonstrate law of conservation of mass

I love the kids. And I can’t see myself doing anything else.

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