Thursday, August 30, 2007

I got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight, I hope I don't get in a fight! Ohhhh, back to school!

With Eric starting teaching next week and me getting ready to start Teaching Fellows training later in September, I thought I'd post some links to back to school articles.

Here's one from Slate that appears to be a book review at first but also has a little commentary about teaching in inner-city schools:
"In the Trenches with U.S. Educators"

And this quote explains why I'm going into teaching (not really): "an anti-heroic apprenticeship in messy experience, the kind that will shake up studiously mapped horizons...a domestic Peace Corps, with long work hours and much emotional demand, so it's not for the faint of heart."

While that piece was mostly focused on Teach for America, this Village Voice article is about the Fellows program specifically: "Your Own Personal Blackboard Jungle"

The anonymous teacher interviews in that one make it sound downright scary: "'I knew I would be going into a school that needed teachers, but I didn't expect the level of misbehavior in the classroom,' Wand recalls. 'I had never dealt with kids throwing things across the classroom. One time, I remember turning my back to write on the blackboard and noticing that the kids who were sitting by the bookshelves had ripped up a book. There were paper shreds all over the floor.' One of her peers landed in the hospital after a dispute with a student ended with a door slammed into the teacher's head."

Then there's a Washington Post article about the new D.C. chancellor of schools, an alumnus of Teach for America and also the founder of The New Teacher Project (the organization that started the Teaching Fellows program):
"Maverick Teacher's Key D.C. Moment"

I like how this one characterizes Teach for America (and by association, the Teaching Fellows) as the "insurgency." It was suprising to read that "on college campuses, inner-city teaching has become the most popular public-service job for new graduates."

I don't know what this all means for the two to three years Eric and I both have ahead of us, but we'll keep you posted...


frances said...

glad to hear you got the job.

Jake said...

Sounds like you definitely will have plenty of stories to tell. Good luck to both of you.

Camille said...

i hope eric is liking his placement.

I'm thinking about teaching in Central America next fall. Tom might also get an internship around there. maybe costa rica? maybe belize?

I also kind of want to teach near the very border of Mexico where there's a lot of migrant communities.

you should come. and live with me. and make me happy.