You left the stairwell with him by your side, both with soft smiles on your faces. As you reached the door separating you from some much needed fresh air, he held the door open for you. You thanked him and mentally thanked the warm breeze that washed away all the frustrations of end of semester.
“You know, I never asked, what had you so unfocused?” You asked him while your gaze followed a bumblebee landing on a bright purple flower. “Oh, I guess the weather. Seeing such a nice day outside doesn’t really make you want to sit and reply to emails and grade homework, you know?” He replied with a small sigh turning his head up to the blue sky. You drew your eyes away from the bumblebee to look at his relaxed face, you had stopped walking and he had closed his eyes, taking in the sunshine.
A bachelor’s degree but on top of your normal classes you have field experience & semester of student teaching under a mentor (approx. 4 years)
(Before entering a single school for field experience you pay $100 for fingerprinting) Safety! 😃
For teaching Birth-Grade 6, hundreds of dollars spent to take at least 7 different certification tests (5 Content specialty tests, 1 Educating All Students test, and the dreaded edTPA — more below)
The edTPA costs $300 and is where you write 3-5 highly detailed lessons discussing every material you will need, what students have already learned, personal/cultural/community assets you are utilizing, the modalities the lesson appeals to, technology you are using, learning strategies, State Standards the lessons use. THEN, you film yourself teaching these lessons, and then pretty much justify why you did what you did in the classroom, fix your lessons, then submit it to a grader. If you fail only one part that’s $90 to fix it and resubmit.
Apply for your initial certification.
A master’s degree w/ field work and, depending on the degree, more student teaching (approx. 2 years).
More certification exams!
CONGRATS! You’re a teacher working in a school! Now you have an experienced teacher as your mentor for your 1st year.
Almost done! You have to take 100 hours of professional development workshops, seminars, webinars, etc. over 5 years.
“Y’all stay there,” says Mr. Jackson as he marches across the parking lot toward the shabby red car that had vanished behind the trees. The growing crowd of students watches him go; children watching a paternal figure go check out the noise.
Buddy Red is holding his bleeding shoulder in the car when Mr. Jackson clears the trees. He fumbles for his keys to try to start the car, but gives up once it is clear he won’t make it. “I should have known you’d get involved, Mr. Green,” Mr. Jackson says.
Buddy Red just breathes.
“Why hang on, sir?” Mr. Jackson prods. “If you survive, it’ll be some long months of suffering. Don’t you agree?”
Buddy Red reaches into the back seat and finds a bottle of vodka. He pours it over the wound with a shaking hand.
Mr. Jackson grimaces. “Oh, I imagine that whole arm is shattered, now. Might need an amputation.” He reaches across Buddy Red, leaning his great body into the car, and presses his stumpy fingers into the shoulder. Buddy Red groans and tries to get away, but Mr. Jackson is steady as stone, and holds him in place, kicking legs and all. “Where is the boy, Robert?” A whispered grumble.
Sweating, Buddy Red manages to catch a full breath. “I’ve been beat worse to give up less,” he says.
Mr. Jackson smiles, understanding. “A good slave owner don’t beat his slaves. That’s like beating up your coffee maker. A waste.”
Buddy Red spits in Mr. Jackson’s face, and Mr. Jackson pulls himself out of the car, pats his pockets until he finds his handkerchief. He whips the spit away carefully, thoughtfully. “You were always more trouble than you were worth. Really the reason why I let you fight for your freedom. But you were rarin’ to fight for the South, weren’t you?”
“For my kids, Jason,” he says. “For my kids.”
“Oh and where are they now, Robert? Where are their kids? On the streets of Chicago, Detroit?” A moment is filled with Buddy Red’s labored breathing. “Where is the Danielson boy, Robert? Why do you want to protect a white boy anyway?”
“Danielsons was like family, and I’d die before I’d tell you.”
Mr. Jackson raises his eyebrows. “Sounds brave! If you weren’t already dead I might be inspired.” He grabs his finger, as if starting a list. “Let’s see: I kill you now and you come back a little fainter?” Next finger. “A little harder for the living to see? No. I’ll let you suffer in this form. That is the worst I could do you.”
Buddy Red nods, chuckling: they agree.
“I know about as much as you do, anyway, I reckon. The boy is at the school. And I’m going to find him.”
He grabs a branch, too heavy for a normal living man to lift, and raises it above his head easily, creating a shady canopy. He places it on the car, mostly hiding it from view. “There, now you can suffer in peace,” he says, tapping the roof of the car twice. He toddles back toward the school.
i love math on teams because it means we get to see out teacher’s screen and by extension all of the fun messages he gets from other teachers. this morning, for example, it was “do you play internet chess too?
Mrs. T and I had some students who submitted drafts of their Spring Book Projects for the third or fourth time today, so we decided to swap proofreading lists because we thought it would be good for them to get fresh eyes on their work. So I took all the projects she’d already proofread, and vice versa, and I think it worked out well.
It’s been interesting to see which books students have strong reactions to. Barbara Demick’s Nothing To Envy and Rusty Bradley’s Lions of Kandahar both seem to be well-liked, but I think the one that’s really resonating is Malalai Joya’s A Woman Among Warlords. All of the projects about that book are really thoughtful. A few of the students who read it had also read I Am Malala in middle school, and made some interesting comparisons between the two texts, which is neat.
Mrs. T and I take turns contacting the students who are behind on drafting, and today it was her turn to do it, but a few students ended up emailing me to check in or ask for help, so I was able to tell her she could take them off her list.
Teamwork makes the dream work.
Aside from reading ninth grade projects for the better part of the day, I also checked a couple late and/or revised assignments from my seniors, who will officially finish their year tomorrow. I did, admittedly, work through lunch, but I grabbed a sandwich from the local deli during what would have been my “prep” time, so I got a bit of a break then.