Thursday, July 22, 2010

Today, I am unpacking my Angry Eyes. The day started out innocently enough, with a phone call full of good intentions.
The middle school secretary called me to chat about a few things about school. In the course of the conversation, she mentioned she'd been cleaning out the office closet and found some items she thought I might need, and had stuck them in my classroom. Just basic kind of leftovers from here and there, markers, colored pencils, nothing spectacular, or earth shattering.
However, I was THRILLED, thinking, "WOW!! I won't have to fork out the $$$$ to buy those things on my own now."
As the day has progressed, the more I found myself excited at the prospect of not having to purchase these basic supplies for my classroom, the more a feeling of anger took the place of the excitement. Why should these basic tools be in such short supply in a public school? Why should I have to buy anything for my classroom out of my own pocket?
Do you think the White House has to scrounge for a pen to sign a document? Or, duct tape together a broken stapler because there isn't a replacement? Do you think our Congress people, at the federal or state level, are pouring over back to school sales, adding and re-adding the totals on their lists, making choices about what they purchase to make it through the year at their office desk?
But here I am... thinking if I don't have to purchase those Expo markers, maybe I can buy enough notebooks to give each student one in both social studies and math class. Maybe I can afford to order a few new atlases, instead of trying to make do one more year with those with all the missing pages. I wonder if I could get enough post-its to use for that activity I saw at a conference about helping students dissect text?
Education, quality education, needs consistent, adequate funding. Teachers are consistenly being asked to do more, and more, and MORE, with less and less and less. Once again, a slap in the face about our priorities in this country hits me broadside.

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