Posted by: krusty505 | August 13, 2011

Too Cool for (a) School

In case it already isn’t painfully obvious, I really enjoy my job. In fact, I feel blessed to have stumbled into a place where I feel so welcome and supported in my teaching. There are several people, especially, who have been instrumental in introducing me to the school and in ensuring that I secured full time employment there, and I’m deeply indebted to them. In a way, I’m also indebted to the state of New Mexico for allowing charter schools to exist in the fashion they do. If we didn’t have such a dynamic school structure with which to work and such dedicated staff, we wouldn’t have been able to open our new campus on a moment’s notice and with such outstanding success.

To wit: the jail approached our management team late (very late) in the school year last year and wanted us to essentially double our school’s size within the jail before we resumed classes. Unlike most other schools, we don’t have a very long summer break, so our staff, and most especially our new principal, had to work their butts off to make opening the new campus a reality, and for the most part, we did open pretty seamlessly. Thank God we had another campus in the jail because I personally have had to go down there and “borrow” computers, headphones and the like to get my reading program up and running, but all our staff have been incredibly gracious. I just don’t think this kind of flexibility and lack of territorialism exists in “regular” school settings, so it’s been pretty gratifying to be employed where I am.

On another note, we have already started to establish a positive culture in the new school pod. We had a minor theft last week; one of my headsets went missing. Turns out that the guy who had it took it because his jail issued headphones broke within 3 days, and he had to pay for these with his commissary funds. Though his reason may have been a good one, his justification for stealing was not, and the other guys in the pod were less than happy with him. However, the headphones were retrieved within an hour of my noticing they were gone, which speaks volumes about the changing tone in our pod.

Then, the next day we had an issue with procedure and respect for the new honor dorm system the jail has implemented and the school is supporting. (Basically, the jail is trying to replicate a program, initially piloted in Oklahoma, in which inmates are given more privileges and opportunities in return for them taking more responsibility for their behaviors within the jail.)  Our principal went into the pod and gave the guys “the speech.” I told them later she was the queen of the soft sell because she didn’t yell or berate them. Instead, she used words like honor and respect, and she reminded them that their teachers were working very hard to ensure that they had the best education we could offer them. It really set a positive tone and was probably one of, if not the only time, some of these guys have been treated with such dignity and respect.

So say what you want about charter schools or about the folly of trying to educate hardened convicts, but I think both are alive and kicking in the Land of Enchantment.

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Responses

  1. We truly work for the greatest school ever! We may have our trials and tribulations, but it all works out in the end. They definitely keep us on our toes.

    • It’s true. It’s true.

  2. Pardon being off-topic, but the email address you used when you wrote to me at Invisible Shoes bounced back (krusty505@yahoo.com).

    So, to answer your question here: Both would work fine, but the 6mm Contacts will give you a bit more protection.

    • Oops, sorry. I meant to say @gmail.com I’m surprised I got that wrong because I’ve abandoned that email address long ago. Thanks for the input. I will probably opt for the Contacts.

  3. I’m trying to stay positive about the public school system here in NM. It’s tough when only one school in Santa Fe passed the standardize testing this past year. I’m glad one segment of the system is working!

    • Sadly, we had a guy come into the pod last year who couldn’t count to 10 and couldn’t spell his name, and he had 20 high school credits when he entered! Crazy! BTW, he learned how to read with me, and our math teacher taught him his times tables.

  4. Cheesey! So great to read these posts. Love ’em all. Can’t wait to see you
    Xoxox mando

  5. Well put from an excellent blogger


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