SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: It Is Not Students First, Rather It Should Be Priorites First

Friday, December 17, 2010

It Is Not Students First, Rather It Should Be Priorites First

Several weeks ago, Michelle Rhee launched her RheeFirst, oops, I mean Studentsfirst website. Like at the end of a long day when I need a good laugh or distraction and listen to Sean Hannity, studentsfirst serves the same purpose.

I came across a propaganda film in which a under thirty somethings (yes, there were a few teachers over forty) espoused how they put students first. Two of the hypnotized that never lies stood out to me. One was Jane, a statistics and economics teacher at some school who said, "So for me it is not about 3 o'clock and the bell rings and it's time to go home. It's about did everyone learn today."

That is really nice. Super. I recall when I was first hired I was asked if I was willing to stay late. I said sure, why not? For a month I stayed late. For the sake of staying late. There were no students to see since they had all left. I was a cluster and did not have a classroom to keep up. It was all appearance and it soon ended.

Then right after Jane there is Steve, a fifth grade teacher. Steve is young, and he has that sexy five day growth type of beard. Steve says, "It's not all about me. It's about all 26 kids, or the year before that, 27. Or the year before that, 28. Whether or not I wasn't feeling well, or wasn't particularly excited about what I needed to teach, it wasn't about me it was about them."

Steve, you make me feel so guilty. When I had strep throat with 104 degree fever I should have come into to work that day. I was so selfish. Even after the fever broke over the weekend and I had an allergic reaction to the Ceftin I still should have come into work. Several years ago my wife made Hamburger Helper for dinner and the next morning I just leaned over the bed and deposited it on the floor, I should have come in to work.

I really hate this students first mantra. Yes, students should come first. But when you are at school. When you are doing school stuff. Please, I want to be spared this liberal, empty catch phrase. It means nothing and when said I do not believe it.

What comes first for me? My son and wife. Plain and simple. I know if given the choice to rescue my wife or my son my wife would insist I rescue my son. I have given up a lot of chances for per session money because I want to be with my son in the afternoon. For many years my wife worked in the city and did not come home until late. Or I coached all his sports teams and that was quite time consuming. Or I just wanted to be with him. My son, my family comes first, yesterday, now and forever.

Second, God. I have a lot of issues with this guy. I wonder if he is there, I wonder if he exists. But God comes in second. The type of person I need to be in his eyes (if he does exist) guides me.

The USA is third. We live in one fucked up country right now, and Obama is a waste as are all politicians, but this is my country and I want to do something to leave it a better place for my son.

The students, my job comes in fourth. Sorry, that is just the way it is. Doesn't mean I don't care about the students, or don't care about my job. It doesn't mean I don't want to try to improve. It just means that I have my priorities straight. I know what I have done for students. I don't have to list them here. I will mention one, **cough cough** Numb Nuts **cough cough**. I know my heart is in the right place everyday I walk into my building. But there is more to staying late, coming in when you are sick, or just too beat to show that you care about your students.

One thing that would have impressed me in that video is if one teacher, just one said that when students are being wronged by higher ups they go and fight for those students to the decision makers. That they will risk their jobs for what should be right and what is right. Unfortunately I doubt either of them have ever done it.

Just stop this students first or children first crap. It is empty and hollow. It like when I ballplayer signs with a team and claims it "isn't about the money." Road apples.


TFT said...

Come join us

TFT said...

I should clarify. It's the anti-Student's First page, but I got the name first!

Anonymous said...

Don't let Steve make you feel guilty. He teaches at my school and the colorful bright classroom he is sitting in isn't even his. It's a kindergarten classroom (you should see his!). It's almost garaunteed Steve takes off the day or two following a break to go visit his family in Minnesota (where the TFA-er is from). He even recently missed a couple days to be in a hockey tourney.
So his big quote in this video is pure bullsh*it. He's just a regular guy and takes off as needed like everyone else.