In the Lou

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 01 2007

And so the first chapter comes to an end

Thankfully, today with students went by without too much fanfare. By that I mean things were kept relatively quiet and calm.

Yesterday, I went to lunch with my best teacher-friend. We had joked how we might be of the few who go outside at the end of the day to wave goodbye. At the top of our list of people who might call that too middle-schoolish was Mr. Analogy. He beat me outside!

By 11:00 a.m. things were deathly quiet in the building. I mean this quite literally as the spirit of my school building died today. The structure which delicately glows a historical patina — it was one of the first schools for African Americans west of the Mississippi River — will never again house the St. Louis Public Schools students for whom it was built. The building will be sold after the contents are cleared this month.

I was planning on declaring victory at the end of Monday when we are officially not required to report to work anymore. The problem is that at around 7:04 p.m. today, while driving, I had a horrible and saddening realization. I will never see most of my students again.

All this time that I’ve striven to become part of my students memory of “excellent education,” I’ve overlooked the reality that they were to at some point exist only in memory, too.

For the ones that I really really care about… for those — I know they will be in touch. I gave out my email address and also said that if they couldn’t remember the address they could always put my name in Google. I always come up first in the search.

I also “came clean” about being a Teach For America teacher. I didn’t go into the details about the program, but I realized that I don’t want my students to look back and have a question without a way to get an answer. TFA is in the news here right now, so it is especially important that I am open and honest. (post about the news issues coming this weekend)

Have no fear that your inbox will be empty. I have a few more posts yet to deliver regarding my end-of-year evaluation of student data and progress — just like a good TFA teacher should.

2 Responses

  1. tstarkey

    thanks for the kind words. things are about to get crazy for me very soon. i’m sorry to hear about your school closing — something to do with failing grades overall and the State of Missouri takeover of SLPS?

  2. No, the school closing had nothing to do with our school performance. This was actually the first year my school was open in this building. As part of a larger plan, the district decided to sell our building.

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a Teach for America science teacher in St. Louis

St. Louis
Middle School

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