Excerpts from Stop Signs

27 12 2006

by Willie Perdomo


I’m not sure how one is supposed to read the stars unless they’re falling all over you…

If it was up to me, I would grab the ones that shoot across the sky, shak’em hard one time, blow on them for good luck and let them roll, see what they land on…

If you look for rain you will find gold muses in the middle of a rooftop swan dive…

I was ready to leave those dark hallways frozen in yesterday’s rain, but I must leave soon so I wrote this poem because it’s the only place where this love can live.


Barefoot Stroll

21 12 2006

by Mariahadessa Akere Tallie

I want to walk barefoot in a place where barefoot has no name,

In a place where soul on Earth is natural,

a place where toes in soil is common as true love, laughter, and birth……

When these places leave tracks,

I follow their footsteps,

but they always lead to the sands of my own spirit.

I stand in the middle of myself bowing the Mecca I know,

the sight of me strolling barefoot into my own life,

leaving thieves and tyrants trying to control it.

private? public?

5 12 2006

So after almost three years teaching, I’m finding myself at a point where I just don’t know what to do next.  I Recognize that I need to do smoething more, that I need to continue my education in a specific direction.  I’m just not sure what that direction should be.  I started the Reading specialist program at UVA, but I’ve kind of put that on pause after a couple classes because I just don’t think it was my passion.  I want to get to the Masters + 30 pay as soon as possible, because that’s just smart of course.  Ive found myelf increasingly frustrated with public education in general.  We’ve discussed this all to a point.  With our state standardized testing getting more intense and AYP through No CHild Left Behind getting more intense, I really fear for the place that public education is headed.  Teachers and administrators are under such pressure, there really is this growing trend of teaching only whats on the test, teaching more testing strategies than test infomration, forget Blooms taxonomy, on and on and on. 

So I’v been looking a little bit at private school, just to see what’s going on in that arena thats different.  In fact, I’m going next Tuesday to an all boys school here in the city to observe, just to see what’s going on in that building.  Is it really so much different than what I’m doing here?  So last night, I went to a meeting that I was invited to with about 30 other teachers from the city, all grade levels and levels of experience.  We were there to listen to these two teachers speak about a program that the city is starting through Yale university, yep YALE, to rewrite the curriculum that the city uses.  SO part of me is like, OMG< this is what I bitch and complain about, that the pacing charts, the agendas, the schedule and the information I’m suposed to use to teach sucks, here’s  my chance to have a hand it rewriting it.  However, they aren’t paying any extra, and you aren’t getting any credit for it, I just don’t know.  It sounds like a tremendous amount of work and extra meetings, not to mention several weeks at Yale this summer.  I just don’t know.  However, at the end of the meeting, during which they went on and on about how we have been specially chosen to be there, blah blah, the head of curriculum and instruction for the entire city, I mean, number two to the superintendant basically, came up behind me, put her hands on my shoulders and asked if I was going to Yale this summer.  Now part of me was kind of freaking out.  I mean, she’s incredibly powerful in this system.  What I really wanted to ask her was if she had any idea who I was, where I taught, what grade, etc.  I mean, did she just see that I was kind of excited during the presentation and came over to milk it?  Or does she maybe know more?  I don’t know.  Are they just going to use us all for the work, change it and make it just as horrid as the shit we’re supposed to be doing now? 

We’re doing plays this week, the kids are all performing next Friday, they’re sooo excitd.  I’m going to try to video tape them and put them on our class webpage.  We’ll see if that works out. 

so close and yet so far away

1 12 2006

Today’s going to be insane around here.  We have a bunch of stuff going on.  First off, Jim, my co-teacher, my lifeline, my favorite person at school, is going to let the kids shave his head this morning.  OH MY GOD> he’s going to look ridiculous.  We have a big auction every year as a PTA fundraiser.  The parents come in and bid on all kinds of stuff. We get things donated from the community, gift certificates, stuff, the parents donate things, and the teachers donate things.  So I donated a breakfast out with Mrs. Hooker for a  student.  The parents bid on it for their child.  I brought in $75 for that breakfast, I was pretty pleased with myself.  Anyway, Jim, Mr. Morgan, put his hair up for auction.  The highest bidder gets to shave his head on our morning news.  Out of control.  So there’s that. 

We’re also telling the kids about the schedule change today.  I’m so excited.  Things are just going to be so much better.  Jim came over for dinner last night and tehn he and I sat down for several hours just hammering out what were going to be doing and how it;s all going to work.  It’s going to be really good. 

What’s going to be bad is telling one of the other third grade teachers that I went to the principal and requested that one of her students be moved into my room becuase she bullies the little girl.  And he agreed with me and is moving her.  Awesome.  No, seriously, it will be good and I don’t know if I’ll have to tell her or not, I’m assuming he will.  He, being the principal. 

In addition to these things, we have an assembly at some time today.  The local theatre is coming to put on Sleeping Beauty.  However, not one person in the entire building knows when they’re coming.  Really?!?!  I mean, surely, the people from the theatre know when they’re coming, we couldn’t call them?  How are we suposed to be able to plan around something that is so up in the air.  In any case.

I guess that’s just me bitching about my own life.  However, things really are good around here lately.  I can’t believe that Christmas is so soon.  I’m so excited.  We only have two more weeks of school with the kids before two weeks of break.  two loooong weeks…..