Educating the Youth of America:  The Good, the Bad, and the Better

By an Anonymous Teacher

This is a new weekly column from a teacher’s perspective on education.  First, I can’t believe that I convinced the editor-in-chief of this fine online magazine to allow me to contribute, but we are related… I believe this is nepotism?  Anyhow, I have been an educator for 16 years… to say it out loud (or rather online) sounds like I am a detainee at Shawshank. Fortunately, it doesn’t feel that way.  I teach at the same school where I had once student-taught, in a rural high school in a small state on the East Coast. Some call said small state the “Small Wonder”.

It is January 1st, 2018 and as a public school teacher, I have to go back to work tomorrow after an 11 day break.  I am not one of those teachers posting on social media how tragic it is I am going back (we all know employees in the private sector certainly don’t want to hear or see our sad face memes about returning to work).  So I don’t… plus I see it as one day closer to summer vacation, the time of the year teachers across the Nation live for.  Some of us take on an extra job… summer school, serving as a waitress or a bartender, and those with excellent financial planning skills enjoy the entire ten weeks work free.  So, I am able to see the silver lining in returning to my profession of educating the youth of America. Now having said that, I don’t know what I am doing tomorrow…more importantly I don’t know if it is an A or B day.  First, I am going to have to go to our school website’s calendar, and then hope that the 2017 version of my teacher-self made plans for tomorrow.  But as any veteran teacher will do, we have a Plan B and that is to wake up at 5:00 am to be at work at 6:30 am…just in case.

It is January 2, 2018 and I wake up at 5:30 am,  making it in to work at 6:45 am, a few minutes off my pre-determined schedule, but I work best under pressure.  Fortunately, the 2017 version of my teacher-self, left the 2018 version a post-it of what I am doing… and most importantly copies have been made.  I should have emailed myself the plans, then I wouldn’t have been worried yesterday… year.  This is fortunate because when I picked up my mail in the mail room, I saw the line for the copiers and knew that if I needed to make copies, it wasn’t going to happen by 7:18 am.  That is when our official school day starts.  Not 7:20, not 7:30, 7:18. Thankfully, the school day progressed as normal and the students outperformed my expectations.  I hold above average expectations so it was a good day.  Throughout the day, I heard the preemptive mumbles of snow… one of the best things a teacher can hear but I don’t like to get my hopes up.   Wouldn’t you know it… a blizzard hits the “Small Wonder” and I had an extra day off this week.  Now if the governor could forgive the day?!

Until next time friends…