Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Today had to be pretty much the most boring day of my entire life. The state of Texas has this handy little teacher rubric they grade all teachers on. To this end, they feel the need to require a 6 hour training on the rubric. This training had to be painfully boring for the non-TFA teachers in the room, but it was down right awful for those of us who have already gone through 7 freaking weeks of professional development! We could teach these things better with our limited TFA brainwashing. I mean really, who watches video clips for 6 hours and calls that a training?

My day perked up when I headed (en mass with the rest of the Mac crew) over to the school to check out my new classroom. Aside from Mallory, we're all located within about four doors from each other on the second floor. I'm next door to a TFA alum and on the other side is my mentor teacher/content leader. Michael has our old CMA room (which still had the whip around question the board). Tear. I miss those kids. My room is decent. I have plenty of space, which is a far cry from life this summer in my lovely trailer. The walls are kind of peeling and I keep waiting for those rats the kids always told me about to pop out and see what all the commotion is. Sitting in my classroom looking at all the empty desks and trying to figure out how I was going to arrange my room I had another one of those moments. It's really weird to be doing this because it becomes so much at one time that it doesn't feel real. Then something happens and it all just comes back to earth for a moment and all you can really do is take it in. It's all super-cheesy, but very cool at the same time. I have many memories of those moments through the years and I'm sure I'm going to have plenty in the next two years.

The McCrappy part of my day — shocking that it wasn't that stupid professional development I sat through— came when I got home from McReynolds. HISD and my roommate Genvieve's school in particular is under investigation for cheating on the TAKS test (the test they take every year under No Child Left Behind) and today was the day they announced how the schools were rated, so I zipped on over to the HISD website for a full report. I was in the middle of laughingly telling Genvieve that her school was one of the three schools rated at unacceptable and the superintendent was threatening to close them for next year when I saw that my school was one of the three. Awesome. McReynolds (along with Kashmir and Sam Houston) has been rated unacceptable by the state testing agency for the past three years. Our superintendent is recommending at the next board meeting that the three schools be closed at the end of this year if they don't improve their rating. This is completely depressing. I knew I had an uphill battle, but I didn't know I was starting in 10 foot hole. I was already motivated to get all my kids to pass the TAKS, but now I know it's vital. If they close McReynolds that disperses the kids all over the place. They deserve more than that. They deserve a school in their community that doesn't come in bottom of the barrel for them, but gives them everything they need and more. I believe we can give it to them, but tonight it feels a little bit more depressing than other nights. Tonight the weight of this commitment is starting to weigh me down a little more and that moment I had earlier in my classroom isn't quite enough to lift it off.

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