“You don’t get much…”
That is what I was told today by my supervisor. Let me set the scene though…………
We’ve grouped classrooms into communities this year (my community is a 4th, 5th, 6th classroom and mine) and each community picks colleges. College readiness is a focal point this year in the district (so I’ve been told by the powers that be) and I’m okay with the presence and awareness of higher learning (although I don’t think college is for everybody it’s an option that should be evaluated). We are supposed to try to visit our respective colleges. In my community all we had was Depauw and Indiana State, so me and a couple of my colleagues wanted to add Butler to the list (it’s literally six blocks and a left turn away from the school) for a place to visit because it’s close and great and etc. So after sitting there talking, my supervisor comes in and we pose the idea to her…it gets shot down because another community supposedly has Butler chosen (which turned out to be false after all this drama). She doesn’t want the schools to overlap because she wants to create a diverse experience. Now, I wonder to myself, “Does it really matter if the 2nd graders in Community A have the same school as Community D? Isn’t any exposure the point of all this?” Naturally, I tell her I don’t get why we can’t have the same schools………to which I’m met with a response “You don’t get much.”
Now, I asked her why it mattered if it overlapped because I had already stated that Depauw and Indiana State are both at least 90 minutes away and transportation is expensive and it would be simpler to go somewhere closer and if anything, try to go to only ONE of the other two.
“You don’t get much.” That’s what I got though. To which I stood up and informed her that what she said was rude and I wasn’t going to sit in the meeting any further. Then it really gets bad and I hear about how “You don’t seem to get much of what we do in this building and you’re always asking questions about everything.”
My response was simple. I’m a grown man and I can ask questions whenever I get ready to and it’s not about challenging things it about UNDERSTANDING what’s going on. People that don’t ask questions subject themselves to lives of confusion and wandering out of a lack of understanding. I’ve asked questions since I could talk, my parents have always said I always wanted to know the who/what/where/when/why/how of everything. My mother says that I am always trying to find a better way to understand something and she’s right. I just want to know what is going on and I refuse to be in the dark about things that go on where I work especially, but really in all walks of life.
So anyway, after hearing about how clueless I am (basically) I leave the room. I go to my classroom and sit down. One of my students walks in and he has no idea that I’m about ready to break something and simply asks me, “What am I supposed to do now?” I get him started on an assignment called “Four Square” that is a four-pronged way to learn vocabulary (Definition from dictionary, synonyms, used in a sentence, draw a picture). I just breathe (coping skill for me because I have been known to have what some call manic episodes) and calm down, which takes what seems like an eternity.
On my album, Sounds Of Soul, there’s a song called “Coordinates” and I talk in that song about being “misunderstood” for lack of better terms, as I try to navigate through life.
Today was a prime example.
I didn’t mean to be rude by asking my question. I was truly thinking about the best options for my students. I’ve seen most major colleges in Indiana with my own two eyes. I’ve been to Depauw. Been to Indiana State. Graduated from Butler and have been back in classes since January 2011. IU, done that. Purdue, same. IUPUI same. Ball State. Marian University. I’ve been to colleges. It’s not about me at all. But I want my students to get the most effective experience so why not start down the street from our school, so close that we could walk if we wanted to?
I’m tired. I’m tired of being seen as a boat-rocker when really I’m just trying to talk to the captain about where we’re going and why. I love people. I want nothing but the best for everybody, including 400+ students that I am not related to and don’t see anywhere but school.
Now I have a show to do tonight at The Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis with my buddy Rusty Redenbacher and The Native Sun band. I love y’all. Thanks for reading.
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