Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Letter K

Our duty free lunches are never duty free, and our planning time is never sacred.  Cause we always have students hanging out.  Today a few former ones reminded me of some of our quotes and remarks over the years. But it's not just what we said, it's the fact that we repeated the same things over and over again. 

One thing they both remembered was: "We have high expectations and we will hold you accountable for everything you do and everything you don't do." 

#apparently #theygotthemessage

So John-Pio gets to play kickball for his K day, while my K is for Kill 'em with high expectations.  Man when expectations are met, you just feel like celebrating.  It seems strange sometimes - that I'd celebrate 70% work completion, or that of the 51 students I see every day, 6 moved into being proficient in reading.  I think to the public it seems naive and not enough cause for a celebration.  But here's the deal:

The work is HARD.  And I'm not talking about just the work of a teacher. 

My students span a huge range academically, many behind their same-age peers who struggle to draw from background knowledge, to apply basic skills to new situations, or to produce sophisticated final products.  It's tougher for them to commit with stamina and determination than their peers living in middle or upper middle class neighborhoods work through easily.

It's frustrating.  For them and for us. 
So I figure that if I stay the course and kill 'em with high expectations there's a chance that my students in poverty will meet expectations; and if I slather on the strange mix of teacher, cop, social worker, counselor, and parent, it's probable that they can even exceed expectations.  

Tomorrow, while John-Pio is out playing kickball, I'll be playing the hybrid role I find myself in every day and I'll be drillin' and killin' em with high expectations. 

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