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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Where is my highlight reel?

Last week, after Freedom Writers debuted on movie screens across the country, my students asked me, "Ms. Z., why don't you work three jobs in order to take us on field trips?" I paused a moment. "You guys saw that movie this weekend, didn't you..."

I patiently discussed with my students that I do, in fact, work three jobs and spend my hard earned cash on the markers and glue sticks that now sat topless and drying out on their desks. I buy their paper and novels for them to read when the school curriculum is not interesting enough. I spend hours driving to the local ISD to buy giant reams of paper to decorate my bulletin boards that they then complain are ugly and boring (okay, I admit, I wouldn't win the prize for best bulletin boards.) The kids paused. "You're right, Ms. Z, we aren't as bad as those kids were in the movie. We don't need field trips to make us good."

Okay, so I didn't mean to rant about how self-sacrificing and under-appreciated I am. I am just waiting for my highlight reel. When is someone going to take my brilliant best days, string them together and hire 25 year old actors to play my students? I would look like the best teacher ever!

While I contemplated whether Angelina Jolie or Reese Witherspoon would play me, I came across an opinion article in the New York Times, written by an actual educator, that perfectly articulated my feelings. Please, check it out. In the meantime, I am going to stop beating myself up for not sacrificing my marriage due to my unhealthy dedication to my students and start fantasizing about the foundation I will start....


Blogger Nobis said...

Hear, hear! Great post, Zellner, and I couldn't agree more. Moore's Times editorial is utterly fantastic. I don't even know how many times I've explained to my family that yes, all of our educational woes could indeed be solved--IF every teacher had one class that lasted thirty seconds, just like you see on TV. I want to teach at that TV school. You know, the one where I get to say something profound, someone makes a joke, and then the bell rings as I holler a homework assignment to my students, which they miraculously hear AND complete.

And I'm not sure what all is entailed in running a foundation, but it sounds boring to me.

12:04 PM  

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