I will begin with a confession: I am not the world's best teacher.
It's true. I know it. My students know it. And I'm fine with it.
I am, however, in the top half. Any school I've at - seven at this writing - if you were to line ten teachers up, I'd probably be 6 or 7 in the line. And I'd place a fair wager that the staff and students of that school would agree. I go to games, get along with people, am competent, knowledgeable in my field, and like people enough that the basic skills of a teacher (communicating a body of knowledge to any group of people) come fairly naturally. I also like people, especially high school aged people, and I love books (except for shitty ones, like The Reluctant Fundamentalist or A Long Way Gone). I also love to write.
I've been teaching for 12 years now, which is crazy to think and write. I didn't really think of myself as a teacher until recently, and once I did, oddly, I've gotten worse at it. I used to think of myself as a reader and writer that was teaching reading and writing, and planned on doing so until I could sell a novel. Once I sold the novel, I figured I'd get to work in the writing world somehow, and I'd begin work on what would ultimately get my my honorary PHD.
I've gotten more involved, earned a masters, taken leadership roles, began a writing club, coached sports, and then thought it would be a good idea to move to Grand Rapids, MI; since doing so, I realized I thought wrong.
Most things here have not gone according to plan. I'm at my third school in three years. Teaching the third different grade in three years, learning the third different system, which is really hard.
I'm not usually a complainer. Typically, I'd rather do than complain, but that's waning as well, so I want to write about the year, and my experiences, because they deserve to be heard.
They deserve to be heard because everyday over a hundred different kids sit in my classroom, a hundred different kids that are being badly treated by a bad system where people with talents and desires can't thrive. Where the days are struggles and the faces are beaten down. Where kids sit bored and teachers lose passion. Where a few at the top have 'cush' jobs and make decisions that they pass to other people to tell other people so that other people can do them.
It doesn't work.
And I won't accept that.