Have I Become a Gangsta?!


Monday, January 11th, 2016
9:40 PM 
NP: Mary J. Blige - Changes I've Been Going Through 

An administrator said to me today, "Valencia, you have the potential to be the best teacher in this school."

"I am the best teacher in this school."

Straight-faced and very serious, I quickly found myself juxtaposed with that awkward, nervous laugh he always has when he doesn't know what to say to me. "You have things you can still improve, Ms. Clay."

"Really? How would you know? You've never seen me teach. You've never sat in on one of my classes." Did I just say that? Sheesh! The words were irreversible. The only thing I could do was continue. "This is my first time ever working in a place that doesn't do observations and goal setting throughout the school year to help the teachers improve . . . you know," I couldn't stop myself from adding the unnecessary snark, "so we can all be the best teachers in the building..."

"We used to do peer evaluations last year..."

I just looked at him. What the hell am I supposed to do with a peer evaluation when I've been teaching longer than most of these people in here??? Not that I can't learn from someone with less experience but what are you here for if you aren't going to invest time in observing my practice and pushing me to get better?

...

After I read over what I just wrote, I feel bad... Maybe I am being too judgy. Shouldn't I be helping the school to create evaluative tools since I know so much about it? I mean, I do have my Admin I. Am I slowly transforming into what Jeff Duncan-Andrade describes as a gangsta? Maybe not entirely but there was definitely some resentment in my tone. 

Jaded. I have lost my desire to help change policies and implement what I know to be effective instruments of growth for both teachers and students. I still teach like there's no tomorrow but if I'm not helping to change things on the administrative level, am I adding to the problem, essentially hurting the very children that I am going so hard for? He tried to plug a leadership position but my mind is so far from leading anything in that building. I'm just ready to go. But I have do my best to help while I am still here. 
It's only right. 
Blah. 



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