Life After Teacher Corp
I moved clear across the state of Mississippi to teach. I went from the western most part of Highway 82 to the eastern most part of Highway 82. According to the rumors, the place that I was going to teach at this year was horrible. Fights, Pregnancies, Overage kids, STDs, and an out of control district, I thought, I taught in Hollandale, nothing could be worse. After a year in my new district I can confidently state, “If I had kids, they would go to this school.” Four years ago my new district got a new superintendent, who in turned fired all of the principals and assistant principals. He hired assistant principals from across the state who were at level 5 schools. These assistant principals are now the principals and assistant principals in the district.
My school is awesome. My principal is awesome. We have 85% free and reduced lunch, 20% of the district is white, the majority of my students parents work, and dad is a real person. Now, I do have kids whose parents are in jail, parents who work nights and leave the kids to raise themselves, or the always present older siblings who do nothing put hang out on the corner. Things are not perfect by any means, but there are many great things going on. My school is run the way my middle school was run. It is great, no longer do I have to worry about being backed up on discipline, when the bell is going to ring, having to hear coworkers completely humiliate and degrade a child, being thought of as an outsider because I believe lying, cheating, and stealing is wrong. Did I also mention that not one of the 270 students in seventh grade was a parent? Amazing, I taught 3 parents last year. Furthermore, I do not have to worry about overage kids because they are in their own little world, transitions, trying to make it to high school.
I can’t wait for the day when the Delta stops feeling sorry for it self and says, “Enough is enough, we are not going to let the bottom of the barrel run our schools.” Did I mention that my principal is black, along with 60% of my coworkers, and I have not been made to feel guilty just because I am white. Life is great outside of the Delta.