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I am a mommy, scribe, and middle-school English teacher. I am trying to cope with being separated from my beloved. DoUWantMore? email me: theprisonerswife@gmail.com

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with students like these...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

today, a student called me a bitch.

this isn't unusual in an urban classroom, but this time, instead of whispering it to my back, she said it LOUDLY, where EVERYONE could hear. it was as if all the kids were shocked and starred at us to see what i'd do. would i jump across the room, snatch her up and shake some sense into her? (thought about it). would i curse her out and tell her where to go ? (thought about that, too). but i did neither. i calmly asked her to step into the hall, then proceeded to give her a good tongue-lashing before i sent her to the dean's office. but honestly, i was stunned. not by her calling me a bitch, but at how easily (and loudly) the words flowed from her twelve-year-old lips. bitch.

i rarely use that word. i'm not comfortable with calling other women/girls bitches, even if they are mean/evil/insert whatever word here. i just don't. i wasn't raised hearing cursing in my house, even if it was going on outside my front door. i was raised with respect for ALL adults. so much so that even if i HATED that person, i would wait until i was alone to utter my muffled curses. my students...apparently aren't learning the same lessons at home.

i am so completely frustrated, and at the same time, sad for my students. they are growing up in a culture of failure. they are taught, either at home or by the media, that being cool or hard or pretty will be enough to get them through. when in all actuality, being smart and knowing how to treat people is key. many of my students curse like sailors. curse like they learned it in a book. some curse better than they speak "standard" English. it's so easy for me to write them off. easy for me to say, "see, their parents aren't raising them right," but even some of the "good" kids are falling victim to this false sense of what's important. but it's deeper than that.

as my job teeters on the brink of uncertainty, my state is spending billions more on prison funding, while dropping to 47th in the country on per pupil spending. so while the state claims it is broke and must cut the education budget and are laying off teachers, which will increase the sizes of classes and make each student get even less attention, we are increasing funding for those youths who will, because they aren't engaged/able to get the attention they need, drop out and end up in prison.

say what?

the fight for our kids isn't fair. while we work HARD, it always seems like the game is rigged. i know that i can only control what happens within the four walls of my classroom. i know that no matter what attitudes, problems, issues, or deficiencies my students come with, it is up to me to put all of that aside and prepare them for what will come.

it's hard. and i'm tired, but tomorrow i will get up and do it all over again.

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 10:09 PM 3 comments

Looking for Work? So Am I

Thursday, March 19, 2009

so i received a pink slip.

well, it wasn't exactly pink, but it stung nonetheless. myself, along with 11 of my co-workers and nearly 8900 teachers, received layoff notices from our school district last week. apparently, we're broke. we're about $720 million in the rears and they are looking for ways to balance the budget. the notices have been deemed precautionary, but it's still very disheartening. I’m not sure how they expect us to come to work everyday, motivated, when we don't know if we'll even have a job come summer.

i am writing this as i wait for parent conferences to begin. i am once again, here, putting in lots of work on my students' behalf, but with even less certainty, and i admit, motivation. it's hard to stay motivated, to struggle with some students, to care SO much about them, when your employer doesn't seem to care about you.

are any of you feeling the economic pinch? i wasn't really phased by it until now. now i'm wondering if i'll have to go back to corporate america, and if so, will a job even exist?

Obama's in my hood & i wish i could have gone. i wonder if he has any REAL answers for teachers...cuz right now, we can't cling to "hope."

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 4:34 PM 9 comments

Telling Stories

Friday, March 06, 2009

everyone has a story to tell...

and i have several, but have been holding them hostage. this is the first of many episodes of me sharing some of my fictional experiments with you. enjoy. and please, leave me your thoughts. my first real episode.

Listen to this episode (<~~click to listen)


Posted by the prisoner's wife On 10:44 PM 5 comments