…And so Part II of my saga shall quickly return. I got a job at a new school in a district that neighbors Ye Olde Shoppe O’ Ghetto Horrors, and warrants a one hour one-way commute. I should feel elated, but I don’t. I mean…I have a job…RIGHT? Just today I saw a woman who could have easily been one of my students’ parents, lumbering about in the rain, pushing an industrial-sized trash can, and placing the remnants of the careless into her little treasure chest of joy…oh yes, she certainly did look like Little Miss Sunshine…only too excited to be chasing down the soggy trash of those who were too “busy” to actually take it to the trash can.*
Thank God I’m not you, I thought to myself as I watched her. She was a dead ringer for a sleepwalker. I was waiting to erupt with a feeling of gratitude…instead came the flashbacks…last year, the year before that, and the one before that…UGHHH!!! No romantic-comedy-esque warm and fuzzies were coming to the forefront. Zip. Then I called a friend of mine who teaches in Manhattan, and she told me about all the budget cuts occurring within her school…she mentioned that all non-tenured teachers, people with less than four years of teaching experience, were being let go (she is tenured). I gasped at the thought.
Then, tonight, I was cruising NPR (because that’s what I do when I feel down….???) and I came across this podcast. Scary. Scary because it’s true…the more money that is taken from the educational budget means that much less will inner-city/underserved populations be served with a fair education. Remember, I taught an entire year’s worth of a class with no book. I was not issued a teacher’s edition and my students were never issued individual textbooks. Why? No more books…no more money, that’s why! Oh, and don’t forget about the other class I taught…they had text books (brand new text books), but they were so severely out-of-date that they did not follow the current state standards for education.
I admire those teachers who got out there and protested for what they believe in. Where I work, the teachers don’t have the guts…but if they did…if I didn’t think I would be the ONLY person out there on that line…I would be there. In fact, I think Americans as a whole should go on strike…but that’s an entirely different blog!
So, New Place High School is it…after sending twenty cover letters and resumes directly to principals, and uploading my information on the state’s teacher job site…this is it, and I started back in March. This is bad. I have never had such a difficult time finding a teaching job. While this school is not inner-city, the actual school board may be in a bit of trouble…so cross your fingers for me. When I think about all the cuts in education, the good teachers out there who no longer have jobs, and that woman picking up trash…I try to feel grateful…really.
*I am by no means downplaying anyone who does this for a living. It is an honest and legal means of earning money. My point, for myself, is that I did not go to school to do that…and she looked VERY unhappy! So please don’t send me a bunch of comments saying I’m an elitist bitch because I don’t want to pick up trash for a living (because I barely like to clean my own living room). If it came down to it, then I would (pick up trash, I mean…I get suckered into doing the chores somehow – if I don’t, then no one else will)!