This is the journal of a special ed teacher in the Bronx. It's painful and hilarious at once.
Especially good entries:
The Purple Stapler. (Great ending!)
"So today marks the day that I finally went loca en
la cabeza in front of my students. I didn’t snap over something worthy,
like drugs or dropouts or a student telling me to fuck off. No. I, Miss
Dennis, snapped over a stapler. A miniature purple stapler. It was
missing, and I was mad.
Mind you, I teach at a school where several computers are stolen each year. Teachers’ wallets and cell phones have gone missing. I've been lucky. My stapler cost $4.99. In an attempt to make myself seem slightly less ridiculous about freaking out over this, let me explain that at my school, teachers have to buy their own paper to make photocopies for their students. We also have to staple all of our student packets individually because the stapler function on the copier never works. (Administrators pay themselves overtime, but they won’t buy paper or staples for the copy machine.) Since I was also provided with no appropriate books for my special education students, I have to make countless photocopies from books I purchased myself, and I end up stapling countless packets for my students each day. My little purple stapler was part of my daily routine, and it made me happy. Its theft, of all things, pushed me straight over the edge.
When I discovered that the stapler was missing, I completely shut down my class and demanded to know who had taken it. I was on the verge of tears. My students stared at me in shock.
“I’ll tell you what’s wrong! Look around this classroom. Look at all these books and posters and videos and markers. Do you know who bought these? I did! With my own money! That’s right! The Board of Ed gives me nothing! Nothing! That was my purple stapler, and no one has the right to take it! That’s it! I’m taking everything home with me.”
I was sure my students would hate me for this
incident. Instead, something strange happened. They began to see me as
human, and they began to respect their classroom.
“Miss, did you really spend your own money on all that stuff?”
“You must really care about your classroom, Miss Dennis.”
"Yet there was Darryl, standing in ardent defense of my class while using the word-of-the-day in a sentence. It was a truly great moment in teaching. "Your mama's mad tedious." Little did I know, when I decided to become a teacher, that I would one day be honored by such a sentence."
"My teacher helped me! If you stop your screaming she can help you too 'cause you obviously got issues!"
"Could it be that some of us in America Vietnam Vietnam
Five years ago, I had the opportunity to teach I Have a Dream to English students in
Americahave heard this great man's name and his moving speech so many times that we have become jaded? Forty-three years after our country's most moving speech was delivered, are we already taking it for granted?
Vietnamwho had never read or heard the speech before. Their responses were amazing. Each year on MLK Day, I get emails from former students in
Vietnamwho were inspired by Martin Luther King."