Wednesday, September 24, 2008

some people

I am out of sorts a bit this week for only one good reason and lots of little mediocre reasons; I anticipate a dramatic turnaround once I spend quality time with friends & family this weekend.

One of the minor reasons I feel sketchy has to do with an unnecessarily complicated story about the school where I teach. Essentially, we are housed in an old building that we have made the very best of (I once taught a poetry class on the stage in the auditorium and moved tables, chairs, whiteboard and books every afternoon & morning - we are flexible people!) but are told by Those In Charge that we can't stay there much longer.

The original solution from Those In Charge? Move into a handful of portables behind a nearby elementary school. I get that portables are a given at most educational institutions in the nation now because of rising student populations and limited resources - but our entire school? There would be no common area for gathering before & after classes, no hallways where teachers can have more personal interactions with students; there would be muddy shoes six months out of the year and drafty, cramped classrooms.

But we found out recently that after looking over numbers and previous plans for other projects, Those In Charge found a significant amount of money available for us to use for an actual building. Good news! Well. If you're a reasonable, compassionate human being, it is. Apparently there are people on the school board and in the community who are not keen on the idea of constructing a new building for an alternative school. Someone even made a comment suggesting we're not worthy because we have students who commit suicide. Setting aside the fact that this is an extraordinarily crass thing to say, ever, I'm wondering if that individual honestly believes that no other schools have ever faced such tragedy. And does he mean to say such an occurrence precludes us from deserving a suitable teaching facility? Everything about that statement is sheerly asinine, and I can't help but think he spoke for many others in this community.

So. Our staff & students (and families, alumni, kind local businesspeople) are preparing a presentation for the school board and community members in which we must prove ourselves worthy of a building. On the one hand, we're delighted to show off the great work we do but on the flip side, it seems a tad ridiculous to have to explain why we need basic things like ample classroom space and hallways [and document cameras] to run a close-knit, effective school.

Here's to the grouchiness fading by the time I stand up in front of those people.

18 comments:

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

The moon or mercury or something up in the sky is in some weird retrograde position or something. I'm sure of it, but if I'm too lazy to open my Wii Fit box? Not likely I'm going to do moon/mercury/retrograde research. I'll just suffer until the planets find a better position. Meanwhile, I hope you find a peaceful moment. I watched Waitress on cable this week, and loved it. So? I guess I'm reaching deep and coming up with the Chick Flick escape plan.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

That person has bought him or herself some seriously bad karma.

The world is often unfair. I hope you prevail.

dkuroiwa said...

I spent a year in a portable down in South Texas (can you say "hotter than hell") and it was amazing the feet dragging that went on by the "powers that be" when pressed for actual buildings for our students. It was overheard in the teachers' lounge by someone of the "gifted and talented" teachers that, "well, really, those kids don't need anything better....they shouldn't complain, that trailer is probably better than what they are living in right now anyway"! Grrrrrr...it still makes me angry! Yes, my students were all ESL students, most of them 12-and 13-year old 5th graders and with parents who were probably illegal...but those kids still deserved the best that we had!
Some people.....grrrrrrrr again!
(I'm still a bit bitter about that whole experience, aren't I?)
You...bad mom...do what you do best...charm the hell out of Those In Charge...don't accept anything than what you and those lucky students of yours deserve!!!

LarryG said...

the "suicide" statement should be tattooed on the persons forehead -
in the days of working with kids who are at risk (academically or otherwise) people must call on their compassion and resources.
and why should one school be "isolated" and singled out for this type of situation.
Sounds like someone needs to review the basics of educational law.
I taught for 3 years in high school level technical school - there is just no room for "we are better than them" attitudes when it comes to serving kids...
--- don't get me started...

Lisa Milton said...

Do you need reinforcements? Friendly faces in the crowd? You know I find that attitude ridiculous and yet, completely believable.

(That makes me sad.)

Hold on. The weekend is almost here and with it, a movie? Party? Happy times and Football? <----That's me stretching...

:)

Janet said...

people like that utterly amaze me.

Danielle said...

Good Luck. It seems that an alternative school would be the most deserving of a nice building.
And some people are just so stupid, I really have to wonder how they get along daily...

brandy101 said...

Best of luck with the presentation.

However, with this $700B (yeah, *B*)bailout, plus tons of $ still going to Iraq, taxpayers all over the US are feeling weary on any/all spending propositions. So...I would encourage some sort of presentation that emphasizes little-to-no impact on local taxes plus the upside of created jobs (construction, etc.) in the area.

Denise said...

UGH! They never ever treat teachers right! So sorry you are having to deal with this right now. **HUGS**

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

Asinine is the best word I can think of to describe that person's comment. Wow. It is people like that who have obviously never experienced tragedy themselves.

Hoping you come out of your grouchiness so you can be a shining star when it comes to it.

KEEP BELIEVING

KD @ A Bit Squirrelly said...

Okay SERIOUSLY? WTH is wrong with people. UGG..Thank goodness there are teahers and community members like you who are willing to go the extra mile for these kids. You are all they have, and they are so lucky to have you!!

marathon mom said...

Your job in all of this is not to be the teacher, but solve it with grace.

Like they haven't.....

Suzanne said...

I'm deeply pissed on your behalf! You shouldn't have to put together any kind of nonsense to prove yourselves worthy of a building! Urg, I hate ThoseInCharge. They are everywhere.

Here's hoping your funds come through. If not, I will be happy to come up there and wave a banner or burn something on your behalf.

katydidnot said...

some people are achingly dumb. i wish you the very best luck on earth in getting the exact right space for your school, so that it is a community.

Amy said...

Wow, it's really sad that you guys have to go through all of this just to get a building. There is no reason those kids don't deserve just as much as the others!

Here's hoping everything goes well!

Shana said...

There is nothing more disheartening than "local politics." Your school kids are lucky to have you on their side.

Mrs. G. said...

This year our school is entirely in portables-even the main office. It really sucks. The whole place feels fractured-like there's no heart. I've been a little out of sorts the last couple of weeks dealing with it.

Mel, A Dramatic Mommy said...

Sometimes Those In Charge need to be Those Overthrown. I hope everything works out!

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