Thursday, April 02, 2009

We teach old hearts to rest

I spent my hatred everyplace
On every work, on every face
Someone gave me wishes
And I wished for an embrace
--- Leonard Cohen, "Teachers"

Today after work we had a mandatory, outdoor get-together with the new incoming families for next year. I talked with some of my kids' parents and had an okay time. It's truly nice to be appreciated, as I am by some of my room's parents. I'm miraculously lucky to be working at a job that I enjoy and am pretty great at, and to have my skills recognized. I'm grateful for all of life's victories, even if I don't always feel that the total balance comes out on the plus side of the register.

The admissions director, Max, told me that one of the incoming fathers had talked with him for half an hour that morning about the father's concern about the presence of male teachers in the kindergarten and pre-K. He was worried that we would do creepy male... things with the boys, I guess. In retelling it, Max made a few sarcastic and hilarious comments about that to me (inappropriate and unrepeatable --- educators often make incredibly crude comments about parents and kids when out of the hearing of parents). But what he said to the father in reality was that the male teachers were totally great, and if the father was worried about that already, sight unseen to boot, maybe Prestigius wasn't the place for him after all. Then Max offered the guy the number of a good counselor so he and his wife could learn to relax. (Really!) The father protested, and said he would see us at the new parent meeting.

I didn't run into him, though. Too bad --- I could have asked if he had any pictures of his kids I could have. That would have been hilarious. Okay, not really.

The three-year-old daughter of my old friend 74 and wife Zaftig were waitlisted at Prestigius, which means they aren't getting in. They called me to beg me to do anything I could to help them get in. I feel bad because I would absolutely love to help them, but what they don't seem to understand is that I have no power whatsoever and no one gives a damn what I think.

Case in point, the arrogant blond kid from this post, whose classroom visit I hosted. Recall that I wrote in the strongest possible terms on his file that he wasn't right for Prestigius. Guess whose smug face I saw cookies being shovelled into the second I stepped outside to the meet and greet tonight? Yes, that kid. They took a grand total of two into his grade this year, and he was one of them. Show how much my vote goes for.


daveawayfromhome said...

You are lucky to be appreciated. My wife is a good teacher, and that's even acknowledged, but all the glory goes to the coaches, and everyone else, regardless of talent, get the shit jobs. She's not terribly happy at her current school.

daveawayfromhome said...

Good grief! I just looked over at your playlist, and it's no wonder you're depressed; all you need is the Indigo Girls and your mood will be blacker than a singularity.