A Journey to the Unexpected

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 19 2013

You’d think.

It’s my third year teaching, and it’s easier. Oh no doubt it’s easier. That’s why this blog has been so well neglected. Planning is faster. I sleep more. I eat full meals sometimes. But that doesn’t mean less work… that means more time for more things. So this is what happens right after school in November, when deadlines for everything other than what I actually thought my job was are piling up, pretty much unedited. It’s not that bad, it’s just… always there.


I struggle out from under my blanket of ungraded papers
unwashed dishes
unwritten letters
unchecked lists
unsorted scores


In some state of half-sleep I try to make it mean—sum—so…
I forgot.
some child is a number
from some test
to prove
I’m not sure what anymore.


It’s essential now,
but I don’t want to go to school.
I’m not ready—class yes, but for
the meeting
the observation
the report
the grades
the I can
but I don’t think so all the time.


but they’re never right because
the thing that’s never done
is the thing that’s supposed to be, not now but
yesterday I didn’t get it done for
which is today
which I lost track of already
yesterday because I had to get ready for
tomorrow because
today was ready but not


They walk in.
My computer’s flickering again
I can’t fight with it today
I don’t have it in me
please just work or not ok let’s read oh wait but maybe no lets go
They read.
Somebody’s playing the part of a girl
and they’re a boy
and they just said kiss but didn’t realize it until it was too late
Now we’re laughing.
Not at the kiss or at the irony or at the test but at ourselves.
I’m forgetting.
For a moment—a seven hour moment—I am the king of my castle.
We are family, 30 times 50 plus 1,
forget the variables.
I shut my door.

In the days of shootings and drugs and technology and economy
my students think I’m here to keep them safe.
I tell them so
and I believe it.
They’re here to keep me sane.

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