NPR has an article on an amazing inner city teacher at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4608476
. Rafe Esquith is an inspiration to me, a devoted teacher who goes beyond what’s in the state standards, what’s in the union contract, what’s in the district memos to teach
his students. He’s done so for 24 years. I’ve only taught for 5 years. I certainly hope that in 19 more years I would come close to doing half what this amazing teacher has done.
A blog truly pissed me off today. You can read my ranting comment in reply.
The blogger might have meant to say something entirely different, but what I gathered from the post was that this blogger believes that technology is extremely important for the future of education, so teachers need to get out of their comfort level and start using technology in the classroom.
*SCREAM OF RAGE*
You can gather from my reply what my technology situation is in my inner city classroom.
While I love to whine and rage on so, eventually, I also take action. I am now beginning my campaign to get an LCD projector or Smartboard and twenty laptops into my classroom.
Please donate to my donorschoose.org proposal and help us get technology in the classroom. Even $5 will help! I mean it! Every little bit counts toward something…a sense of hope for the future, a glimpse of what may be.
I’ve been ill since Friday. What a way to start my vacation!
While ill and feverish, I had this amazing dream.
All of my students have an internet connected laptop. I have a laptop as well connected to a projector. Together, we are beginning a new unit and exploring the internet for ideas, questions, pictures, concepts relating to the new unit. We then use clipmark to clip important ideas to our blogs to share with each other and comment on each other’s findings. Throughout the unit, we would add our learning to our blog, clipmark each other’s works, leave comments. What a real world use of technology in the classroom that would build content knowledge, language art skills, writing with a purpose, just WoW!
It’s an unattainable dream it feels like, but not so farfetched. I shall start by asking Donorschoose.org for a laptop and a projector for myself. Then, I shall start asking for one laptop at a time for my students. It’ll take time, but eventually, I will build a class set!
A mother came up to me today and, through an interpreter, tearfully poured out her hopes and dreams for her son, my student. He is her only child. She is divorced from his father, working three jobs to raise her son. She only gets to see him a few minutes each day, but she will try very hard to come see me more often to keep an eye on his education. She then handed me an invitation, purchased from the 99cent Store, to his birthday party this Saturday.
I cannot wait to go! I will not understand a word of the Spanish that they will speak, but I’ll be there with a brightly wrapped present to give to my student who carries the whole future of his family on his tiny shoulders.
Every day, he wakes himself up, dresses himself, and walks himself to school early so that he can eat the school breakfast. Everyday, he dutifully sits through my lessons, though much of it is over his head because he barely speaks English. He gets excited during Math because there, he can show how successful he is. At lunch time, he asks if he can return to the classroom to spend time with me and I always feel terrible when I have to turn him away if I have errands to run. Afterschool, he spends the rest of his day with his babysitter, an elderly woman who doesn’t speak any English either and who has far too many other children to look after. At night, he tucks himself in. If he was lucky, he got to see his mother before he falls asleep.
It is a lonely life for a boy who loves his mother dearly and whose mother loves him dearly.
I ask you, can YOU carry the whole burden of your family’s happiness on your adult shoulders? My students do it every day. I am humbled by the knowledge that they entrust ME with their education.