I'm No Superman

Everyone dreams of being a superhero when they're a kid. Maybe it's the same innate fantasy that drove me to become a teacher. I hoped that I would use my intelligence, idealism and deep-seated passion to "save" the kids I taught from their lives of poverty. Maybe it's the result of too much Hollywood, but many of us have the idea that we can walk into the classroom, play some Mozart for the poor kids and all of the sudden they're college-bound.

Then you learn about the guided reading groups. And the DRA's. And the acuity tests. And the assessment binders. And the portfolios. And the "test sophistication". And the School Quality Review. And you get the point.

This isn't to say I've become jaded or lost my idealism or the passion for what I'm doing. But there is an awful lot of paper work and testing and required curriculum and when it's all said and done there's not much room left for Mozart or anything else. Meanwhile, I find myself almost five months into teaching and still struggling primarily with classroom management while trying to master all of the above components of teaching.

Maybe it's time to forget the superhero fantasies. For now I would just settle for competence. A meeting with my mentor after school today reminded me how far I've come and yet how much I have yet to do. It feels overwhelming, but at the same time I'm convinced it's what I have to do to succeed. Saving the children with straight up passion makes for a nice story. The reality is much more tedious, but that doesn't make it any less worth fighting for.


whats up fellow soldier.. yea man, id suggest ditch the superhero fantasy. its not realistic and not what they need. they just need someone who believes in them! i think its a form of politics. they need good activists for them, good advocates.. i've been thinking recently about what i can be for my students- or rather, what i can do for them. and really it has everything to do with finding ways that i can go against the system which is in essence going against them. im a big proponent of ditching the whole relevance and significance of testing. and i dont mean from a systematic point of view, b/c that will never happen. i mean from a classroom point of view. i feel like if i can successfully teach my 7th graders how to divide (skills they've never learned), as opposed to 'teaching for the test' (including testing strategies), than i will be doing my job, my real job. i think you gotta have the i dont give a fuck if i get a "u" at the end of the year if you are actually reaching the students- right?

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