Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Musings from "The Flats"

My district is unofficially divided into "The Hills" and "The Flats."  As one might imagine, The Hills are where the more affluent homes are found, and The Flats are where the areas of poverty lie.  I have worked in the same school in The Flats for 26 years.  I love it and would never work anywhere else.

You would think after 26 years I would be used to it, but I am still not used to colleagues, my fellow teachers, talking trash about The Flat schools.  For some reason, many of these teachers actually think they are better than those of us who teach in The Flats.  Obviously, that is laughable.

Yet I am still blown away by what people say.  I suppose this comes with the territory.... something we in The Flats must accept.  But I must also remember, many of those same people wouldn't last a week in The Flats.  It's a tough gig at times.  So many teachers have left my school because they haven't felt successful.  They literally "run for the hills."  And of course they are more successful.  Who wouldn't be?

A quick look at the research shows turnover is high in schools like mine all over the country.  Many teachers do not stay in high poverty schools very long.  Maybe it's because they don't have what it takes?  I know I didn't have it when I first started.  And it is something I am always working to improve.

After all this time, I haven't learned to speak up when the digs happen.  I am still shocked by it.  I am still left speechless by the rude comments - the comments that insinuate or flat-out state that my wonderful school isn't as good.  The hell it isn't.  My school is awesome.  And so are the teachers.

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