Thursday, September 6, 2012

New Year New School

Six years ago I worked at a small recently  created  high school.   I was assigned the new math teacher to mentor.  Okay so I was a special education teacher.  But I felt I knew everything about everything and somehow mesmerized the principal to believing that.  I agreed to be his mentor.

The first time I observed him, I watched him the command the attention of thirty antsy eighth graders as he spent well on forty minutes speaking in his fine Jamaican lilt about the joys and foibles of equations.

No one moved.

In the feedback session I noted that I almost always told teachers to speak for no more than ten minutes or you are bound to lose attention.

"Yet you spoke for more than four times that amount,"  I reflected, "and no one moved.  You are like Castro!"

So the years roll by faster than summer vacation days and somehow, I convinced the not so new math teacher to apply to the fast track principal program.

And he did.
And I fulfilled the promise to go with him.
Not to the small new innovative high school I imagined him leading when I promised to come with him, but to a large troubled high school which the mayor threatens to close, daily.

Tuesday he spoke to a staff of over two hundred (the old school had less than fifty.) many of whom faced losing their jobs when they left in June only to be saved by a Union initiated contract arbitration at the last minute.
Forty five minutes later he had at least opened the door to the healing process.

"Good job, Fidel"  I texted him as he left the stage.

So here I am, as I enter my twenty-ninth September in hot sweaty building, unable to dissipate the the humidity the Atlantic hurricanes insist on pushing our way.

And so begins the next chapter.

(Scary note- this principal knows about this blog!  Good thing he will be too busy to read it )

1 comment: