Monday, August 28, 2006

Bouqets of Sharpened Pencils

Today I went to the "New Teacher Institute" at my new school. Any of you who have kept track of this blog will be somewhat familiar with the ridiculous nature of events and situations at my prior school. After just one day, I can see why my new school is so successful with it's students.

My old school was all absurd, thoughtless reaction on the part of teachers and administrators. Sometimes I got roped into the confusion, but mostly I hid in my classroom and tried to create a safe little world within my four walls.

My new school is thoughtful, detailed proaction. There is a procedure for everything, and it is spelled out for you in efficiently run meetings, then followed up with real action. Whenever I speak with a teacher, they say, "This school is so great because of the administration." Whenever I speak with an administrator, they say, "This school is so great because of the teachers." I feel as if I have entered an education fantasy land of mutual respect, genuine concern for student goals that leads to amazing student production, and general happiness with the school environment.

When I spend even on moment trying to imagine myself preparing now for a third year in my old school, a feeling of dread invariably comes over me. I feel very fortunate to be in a situation in which I am excited about teaching. It's still public school, it's still special education for students with emotional disorders, it's still poor neighborhoods in New York City; yet this school is thriving.

After leaving the building today, I called my mom to tell her about my day, the programs available to the students, and the outstanding statistics for student achievement. She said, "Those students are so lucky." My response was to ask why all our students can't be this lucky.

1 comment:

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Sounds like the teachers are lucky too. Good for you, getting into a great school with supportive procedures and colleagues.