It's that fun time of year when enrollment letters go out and I can read all over the Internet how I am a lousy teacher at a lousy school full of lousy kids. Dear unhappy parents: thanks for spreading the unhappiness.
Really, the biggest argument for EPC just giving unhappy parents whatever it is they want is that the online commenting is really bad for morale at the Lousy School Brigade.
Moderately displeased parents, if you do come to visit, please avoid demonstrating shock at the work the kids are producing, their good behavior, or their general well-being. Also, it's very rude to ask why a teacher has a student teacher, or indeed why a school has an entire training program for pre-service teachers (no, not Teach for America, silly). Presumably, someone thought people were doing a good job.
Also, referring to my neighborhood as "the ghetto" is straight-up offensive, and the people living in the projects are my neighbors and our fellow people, not "those people" in the "dangerous projects". What's dangerous about the projects is our collective acceptance that it's okay for people to live in housing meant to be torn down in the 1950s.
No, our PTO does not raise oodles of cash. Nor do we get fat stacks of free money from the District. We are pretty industrious grant writers though (so please: don't advise us on hiring one). But for the most part we muddle through unfunded. It doesn't make for a lousy school. Many of my students are poor, and some don't speak English at home. They are all brilliant, generous, exciting young people.
Like anybody else, I have bad days and good days. Sometimes I have an awesome idea for a lesson and it fails. Or I get grumpy because someone kicked over a full tub of paint just as the dismissal bell goes off and nobody's got their backpacks yet. Even teachers at those awesome schools get shirty or have to reteach something. But the thing is, my kids learn what I need them to and have a blast doing it. I can't walk across the school yard without collecting an entourage. And parents are happy with their children's progress.
So go ahead and quit calling me a lousy teacher.