It’s been a while…

We certainly haven’t kept up with blogging the way that we intended. In our defense life has been BUSY!  In the next few days we’ll work on updating all of our *fans* with some pictures and anecdotes of the wonderful adventures this first year of marriage and life on the east coast has taken us on.  We’re loving every minute of this crazy and hectic life out here.  We were warned that none of it would be easy, it hasn’t, but in the midst of challenge and struggle we have found a God who has provided for us in every way.  We would not be the people that we are today without having walked through the fires that we’ve walked in these last 11 months.  Here’s a short story from Rebbeca, a brief update on life in the classroom…

Life in Room 218, what can I say?  There have been good times, and there have been bad times.  I have yet, in my 8 months as a teacher, to be surprised by something that my students were lacking.  I came to Teach for America and NVHS fully expecting the achievement gap that I have witnessed to.  That is in fact why the organization exists.  There have been plenty of surprises though.  I guess I shouldn’t have been so shocked to see the HUGE roadblocks that students and teachers alike endure in order to achieve this thing called education.  If the system were perfect, then I suppose the problem wouldn’t exists.  I guess it was just the realization and implication that those imperfections brought that has had me thinking for quite some time now.  Teach for America has this thing (I forget what it’s called, and sadly do not have a book to reference) about a teacher’s “Locus of Control”.  The idea is that we as teachers (especially in our first year), have very little control over anything that happens in our school and in our student’s lives, except what we CAN DO in OUR CLASSROOMS.  I absolutely believe in this idea.  It also drives me completely insane most days because as a teacher I have discovered that in a system with all of the imperfections that our urban districts posses, with such a small locus of control, I can really do very little to close this achievement gap that my students live with.  Now make sure you hear me on this, I AM NOT using this as an excuse to no longer work tirelessly for the achievement of my students in my classroom.  I absolutely do.  BUT, let’s be realistic.  The problem of education inequity goes WAY beyond classroom teachers.  I fully expected the lack of parental support, social/economic problems at home, broken families, and I have maintained my high student expectations amidst those things.  But in a system that is completely broken down, the problems go way beyond what students working together with their teachers can really combat.  I will continue to work tirelessly for my students in my classroom, but it is a daily struggle to keep my “locus of control” in perspective knowing that real solutions to these educational problems will not be found until the entire system is evaluated and ALL parties work together as a team with one common goal: the pursuit of excellent education for our students.

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