Tainted Youth

This poem is not in fact inspired by the violence post yesterday, but by a conversation I had with a few students in my class. Who  informed me bullying was not a big deal because if someone bullies you, then you just hit them until they stop. They continued to say beating someone up is always the best answer to your problems.

 

My heart is

broken

for you

how do you

manage to stay

so angry 

everyday?

Your soul

must

be

so

heavy

How do you

manage to

breathe

everyday?

When all

I see is

fire

coming out of

your mouth

Keep looking

behind

you

maybe one day

you will catch them

 

“those people”

out to get

you

 

But

be

warned my friend

if you

only

answer

with

violence

 

Violence

is

all

you

will

find

Violence vs. Peace

The polls have closed. The numbers have been crunched. There is a winner and it is not me. I live in the least peaceful state in the Country.

image from wikipedia

Not only did we lose, but we have been last place for 11 years in a row. How did they calculate peace? Well, the absence of violence. Seeing as New Orleans is the 21st most violent city in the world, this ranking does not surprise.

Top Ten Peaceful Places:

1. Maine- It is too cold to be violent.

2. Vermont- Ben and Jerry’s Factory within driving distance. Who wouldn’t be happy?

3. New Hampshire- I love this state:)

4. Minnesota- The biggest mall in the states. Hello, fabulous!

5. Utah- The mormon’s live here. They don’t believe in violence only procreation. Wish we all could be too busy having sex to be violent.

6. North Dakota- Everyone here is frozen solid.

7. Washington- Hippies that made it rich are always peaceful.

8. Hawaii- Beaches and oceans and love.

9. Rhode Island- I know nothing about Rhode Island. Sorry.

10. Iowa- Wide open spaces lots of room to miss hitting someone with your bullet.

 

P.S.

Eight of the lowest ten states are all in the south.

 

 

Open letter to Bobby Jindal

Dear Mr. Jindal,

There have been many wonderful things you have done for this state. You are greatly loved by many. As a teacher I have a few thoughts on your new education plans. I understand that you want to focus on teachers.  I will agree that I have witnessed a few less than stellar teachers, but I wonder what you plan to do with the big issues in your schools.

Every day I would get to school and have to clean the rat feces off of my desk and the students desk. When I asked the health inspector what he could do about the rats he told me “there was nothing that could be done.” When rats would run along the wall in class it was very difficult to get the class back on track. There were a couple of holes in the windows of my classroom. I covered them with duct tape, yet wasps continued to get into class. I feared not only for students with allergies, but also that a simple wasp sting would hurt an innocent child. I wonder what your thoughts are on how I should teach in this room. What would you have done if this was your child’s classroom? There are quite a few schools that I know would fit this model.

The second big issue I faced was the lack of professional development. One of the big issues today is how are teachers do not spend enough time  training. I taught higher level math. I asked my district professional development coordinater if there was any math training the district offered past geometry. They said they had never had any. No training for Algebra 2, precalculus, or calculus. Let alone AP courses. I looked throughout the state for training to become a better math teacher and found very little. I wonder where in your new laws there is more teacher training for those that want to become better teachers.

The third big issue I faced was how to teach children coming from rough home lives. I had children who would sleep through class because they were homeless and slept on a school bench outside the previous night. Students who had been raped. Students who would be coming down from severe drug highs in the middle of class. Students vomiting from being drunk at 8 am. I was ill equipped on how to help them. I would have loved training on how to not only reach those students, but empower them to want to be great. Does part of your law include plans for these students and their teachers?

The fourth big issue I saw was the violence in school. Not once was the school put on lock down for a gun. The only way I knew they had found and taken a gun was by watching the evening news. Students would get into such violent fights that often someone left in an ambulance. I know there was training for non violent intervention, but it made no significant change. Many of the schools practiced positive behavior intervention. Yet, still guns and violence. What part of your new law deals with guns and violence in the schools?

Sincerely,

A concerned teacher