The crack team would like to welcome a guest blogger tonight, a student in the NYC DOE by the name of Throckmorton. Throckmorton plans to share with us how much Uncle Mike has done for his education. So without further adieu, please welcome Throcky.
Hi, I would like to thank Bronx Teacher and the crack team here at SBSB for allowing me to share with the SBSB readership the wonderful things Uncle Mike has done for my education. Without Uncle Mike's policies I would not be where I am now.
It all started in Kindergarten for me. I was born the first week of December so already I am somewhat behind the 8 ball. Most of the kids in my class were several months older than me and at that age a gap like that makes a big difference in learning styles. Also, my parents were fighting a lot. Seemed that whenever my dad had too much too drink, which was like every night, he would shove my mom's head into a wall.
Anyway, I withdrew and with no support at home I was really behind. I remember meeting with my mom and my principal. I was told I was being left back. I was so upset I cried. But I recall the principal telling my mom that if students were to be left back it should be wither in grades K or 1. Anything other than being held back in those grades was just a waste of time and just for political means.
I eventually got over it and looked forward to K all over again. Unfortunately the teacher we had, who I really loved and had been making progress with me all of the sudden went away. Yeah, just like one day she did not show up. I found out later she was sent to this place called the Rubber Room because she farted in a non-prescribed official NYC DOE manner. We went through 3 more teachers until March when it was decided to just split the class up and send us all into already overcrowded situations. I became lost and alone and I regressed, but darn if I wasn't promoted to 1st grade.
The first day of 1st grade I was so excited. I had a man teacher. His name was Chad Pennyworth and this was his first teaching job ever! He told us how smart he was because he went to a college named Harvard. He didn't even call us students! We were scholars. Even our tables had weird names. Let me see if I could remember. Oh yeah. The table names were Greenwich, Scarsdale, Bronxville, Upper Saddle River, and Roslyn. We were told to call the cafeteria the dinning hall, and the gym was the physical arts centre. We really felt important.
We really didn't get to do much in 1st grade. We had 3 students that took almost all of Mr Pennyworth's time. These kids, Moe, Larry, and Shemp threw chairs, overturned desks, hit other students. Mr Pennyworth did not know what to do. When he turned to administration to help him, nothing happened. Funny, when the other old teacher's came to help him he always said, "That is not in my TFA manual."
I went into 2nd grade and I had this old woman teacher. She must have been 90 years old! But I learned so much in the short amount of time that she was my teacher. The last day we ever saw her was October 5. After that, no one knew. Only now did I find out she was sent to that Rubber Room place again because she bought a house plant for the school. Again, we went through 3 or 4 teachers before the class was split up and I felt anger at being attached to a teacher yet again and having her taken away from me.
Third grade was going to be scary. From day 1 I was told that if I fail the test I will be held back again. That if that happened my parents, my grandparents would hate me. I dreaded that test coming up. But guess what? Mr Pennyworth was my teacher again. He told us the first day this was his last year as a teacher. He got accepted at some NBA program at Stanford Connecticut. But this time our tables were named Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, and Dartmouth.
We had the same kids in the class that caused all these commotion as in first grade. Moe, Larry, and Shemp got bigger and scarier. I almost got hit by a chair. Nothing was ever done. Also, we didn't any science or social studies until April. All we did was study for the test.
Sadly, my mother got pregnant my my father's best friend. He flew into a rage in front of me and beat my mother so hard she wound up in Bronx-Lebnon Hospital for two months. My father was arrested and had a vacation at an island named Rikers for a long time. I missed my father and mother so much. But I got to stay with my Tia. She was 67 years old at the time, had bad diabetes, and didn't speak any English. She never left the apartment. She had my cousin take me to school. More on him later.
Anyway, the test came and I threw up the night before all the tests and peed myself the morning of the tests. There was a crazy question on the test about poloponies. What is a poloponie? I was so sad I got 1's on the math and ELA. The day my mother came out of the hospital I was told I would have to go to summer school.
Summer school sucked. I was so angry being there. If only they knew about the problems I had in 3rd grade someone would have come in and saved me. I was in an old building that was built in 1904. My class was on the top floor and it was hot and there was no air conditioning. I hated it. I hated the teacher. I hated everyone. I wanted to leave but I knew I couldn't. I took the tests again and I got 1's. I had to do 3rd grade again.
I was planning on buckling down in 3rd grade. I knew if I had an old lady teacher I could do good. But that September we had 15 new teachers and a new principal who told us he was 25 years old. All the old ones suddenly either died or vanished.
My mother tried to get me into resource room, or SETTS, or meeting with a guidance counselor. But the new principal in a meeting with her and his 6 new AP's explained that there was no money for these positions. I remember looking at the new gold plated sink in his office as he said these words.
I managed to get a 2 on the math and ELA and the same the following year in 4th grade. Yeah, I fooled them. I am at a 2nd grade reading level. I started to get in more trouble in 3rd and 4th. I was suspended a couple of times. I left a deuce in the urinal once, and another time I told the principal to fuck off. But, hey I was hanging out with my buddies. School I learned was not for me, nor did these big shots truly care about me.
So here I am in finally in the 5th grade. I just turned 12 while everyone else in my class is 10 years old. My mother has been trying to get me some support services at school, but she is told there is no money. We finally have a guidance counselor, but I only see her once a month because she has so many students, not scholars, to service. I feel so ashamed that I am starting to shave and my friends in my grade aren't. But I have other friends.
Remember my cousin? He runs with a gang. I hang out with them a lot. Sometimes until midnight. Yeah, midnight even on school nights. What's the big deal? My mother is watching the baby all the time, my father is in jail. School sucks. The teachers that I liked leave, the teachers that say I am a scholar can't teach me and talk to me like I am a wimp. The principal just wants to take care of his cronies.
Last week some rich white guy came to talk to the 5th grade. He said we can be rich like him if we just put our minds to it and pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. Yeah, now I know what I am doing wrong.
I just want to be a kid. I want someone to let me explore, to let me learn on my own, to give me the boundaries I want so bad.
Thank you Mayor Bloomberg. Your education policies have made me feel like a failure at the age of 12.