Being Ms. B

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 11 2012

In which there are 10

You can tell a lot about a school by the state of its lockers.

At my school, our lockers are a strange shade of blue, that even now as I stare out at them from my classroom door, I can’t find an appropriate adjective to describe.  Many of them are lock-less, as their owners have long since lost their locks or had them stolen by erstwile friends with whom they had regrettably shared their combinations.  Many of them are bent, or skewed, or jumbled so that they don’t exactly close.  Many of them are bedecked with the best handwriting of generations of pre-adolescents.  My favorite sample is the one directly across from my room, which proclaims on two adjacent lockers: “Fuck yes / Hot cheetos.”

It’s poetry.

Our kids don’t feel valued, I can reason loftily.  When they feel safe and respected in their environment, they will choose to keep their environment safe and respectful, I can chirp.  And all of these things are true, just like all of the other pieces of educational theory that we spout throughout the school year.

With ten days left, however, the bruised lockers outside 374 have become more depressing than evocative.

3 Responses

  1. mentor

    the lockers are in dismal shape; however, they serve as toys for students/children who don’t have or have never had much to fancy themselves with.

    Why just this evening, I passed one of my most endearing playful youthful students–one you could easily picture in a painting of youth running thru a field catching a ball or even chasing a butterfly–standly proudly inside one of those shabby lockers.

    I passed another one which boldly stated the name of students whose locker is just across the hall from 374; but, he takes 15 minutes or more to travel from 380 to his locker and back again. Ahhh…the same student who promised he’d be in class on time today but I didn’t see him until 5th period. O well, I digress.

    I ambled towards the 7th grade hallway and immediately noticed he majority of their locks and lockers are in tip top shape…those same 7th grade students who stole locks and destroyed lockers last year.

    So, Ms. B., I said all that to say this those bruised lockers will be repaired for the incoming little darlings, our present little snots…darlings..will mature over the summer and boldly return to our doors next school year as though they never did anything improper or disrespectful and were students worthy of entrance into the finest institutions. They will ooooh and aah as though they were the model student and beg you to teach them because “those teachers don’t do nuthin!” We will smile and nod and say, “Ahh, but one can never go backwards–life is an ongoing forward movement..not bm… that enhances insight, intellect and imagination….as we brood over all the unthinkables they ever did and mumble under our breath all of the witticisms we could never say out loud.

    O, don’t get me wrong, dahlin’, I still love them and will gladly move into the three weeks during break of meeting incoming students, endure 6 days of PD on my own precious down time, and more closely memorize the innocentfaces of the student Orientationbrings into my classroom.

    But thankfully, there are ONLY10 more grueling days to besmirch the memory of CMS1112!

    • katb

      I love this too much. Thank you for making my heart sing at 7 AM on a Saturday.

  2. mentor

    I will begin to memorize those smiling, innocent “i didn’t do nuttin’” faces tomorrow from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. I willlovingly glare at each one

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Teaching by the arch

Region
St. Louis
Grade
Middle School
Subject
English

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