Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The More Things Change...

...The more they stay the same.

I found this email that I wrote to some close friends back in September 2003. I'm happy to say that things have gotten a little better. A very little. A very very little. And actually, now that I think about it, what's gotten better is mostly that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. And I haven't been killed yet!

(Actually, we do have some school counselors. That's an improvement! Anyway, on to the email.)

School is so hard. There are so many problems... injustices really, that I can't deal with. Some are so little and would seem silly if they didn't add up... not having enough pencils, no scissors, no time to get ready in my room, etc. Some are bigger - how we don't have a PTA so the other schools in the district have so much more than we do. How we get less money from the district because our parents don't fight for it. How we have no support for all the drug babies and kids who are scarred by violence or who have been physically or emotionally abused, or molested. (The school psychologist has now been cut down to ONE HALF DAY a week. That's 3 hours a week. With almost 800 kids).

And then of course the huge societal problems with the inequity of public education and racism that is still very blatant, etc. And I just can't seem to find a balance between not accepting all of this (as I don't think Christians should accept injustice of any kind) and staying sane and realizing that I can't change everything.

It doesn't help that so few people seem to care or want to help. I have had lots of wonderful people listen to me and pray and those who can have helped however they can, but I'm the only one I know who has that, and it's not even anywhere near enough.

Even just practically, I can't keep things going well - my room is filthy because the janitors have been cut so badly in our district, I don't have enough supplies and need about $100 more to just buy the stuff I NEED for school, let alone the field trips and supplies for projects I'd love to do because these kids don't get it, I don't have the technology to get the kids to learn what they will need to know about computers, and I have 3 or 4 kids who in other schools would have individual aides or parent volunteers with them full-time because of their emotional/mental problems. Why is everyone ignoring us? I just don't understand and I don't know if I can keep doing this.

I think I'm freaking out because I saw "Mike's" football game (remember "Mike"? The terror child that I love and had in my class twice?) and he had a head injury and was taken away in an ambulance and it was really freaky. I think seeing him being taken in the ambulance freaked me out a lot, and knowing the statistics and the murder rate, I just keep thinking about when it's going to be my students, because it's going to happen.

I wish I could just pray about it and give it to God or something equally trite, but I can't do it. And I don't want to always be going on about it like I'm trying to save the world or i have the most important job ever, cause that's not true. And I don't want people to get sick of me talking about it either, but it's probably already too late for that. :) Please pray for me and for the kids.

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