Nomad’s Log Day 1

So, a very serious conflict occurred at school, today. (For those of you, who do not know I am a high school English teacher in the city of Detroit. I currently teach at a neighborhood school.) This conflict is so serious and it is the largest log (so far) on top of a pile of sticks, which have been causing me to waver back and forth about whether to stay at this school or abandon ship.

Due to the nature of the incident, I am not at liberty to explain the situation in detail. However, this situation endangered the lives of many students, including the staff and has caused traumatic experiences to resurface in my life. Also, I believe creating trauma for students too. This experience seems to be the red ribbon placed on top of my already disconcerting morning.

This morning, I woke up not knowing what experiences I would encounter. No day is ever the same and the days working at this school are a mixed bag. There is no consistency. It is always hard to tell as I work in a school like this, if you’re an educator who worked in multiple environments then you know what I mean. I woke up looking around my disheveled and messy room. Whenever my bedroom looks hectic, it is a sign for me I am starting to feel overwhelmed by the troubles and challenges I face at work and at home and in my personal life. I spoke these words in my heart:

Lord this cannot be the end of me. This situation I am facing cannot stop me from your receiving your promises. 

 However, I felt trapped. I looked at the filth and it reminded me of all my failed projects and how I struggle finishing the ideas I start; it reminded me of how I arrived at this point in my life due to the choices I’ve made and from me following the lead of the Lord.

Is this how I envisioned my future? Absolutely not. At the same time, not everything in my life is all bad. The kids I am teaching are a challenge. Most of them are reading and writing below grade level; my seniors SAT scores were exceptionally low, but most of their home life is tragic and broken and loveless.

I enjoy teaching. I feel love growing in my soul for these kids and I know if I leave I will not be able to see them grow and be apart of their process where they prosper and capture the success, they never thought they could achieve. At the same time, the ship we’re sailing on is a sinking ship. The people in charge are incompetent and intelligent, but they enable where they should not enable and are cutthroat in areas where the students require sensitivity. I already knew when the Lord called me to this high school something was up.

The first day when the president over the school introduced herself and gave this spiel that I and a few others knew and saw the red flags. Everything from the outdated curriculum, the lack of technology, half working printers, subpar lunches to the teaching model, disciplinary plan, school improvement plan shows the board’s intentions to use our students of color to make money or reach a quota. I do not want to be apart of this system. My dream is to educate students, especially students of color, and develop within them an interest to learn. There are some days I wake up feeling the animosity twirling in my stomach.

Other days I force the tears behind the backs of my eyes to not roll down my tears on my way to work. I am stuck. I am conflicted. If I could take these kids and put them in a healthier environment, I wish I could. With all my heart, I wish I could give the students more and implement the changes on an administrative level to meet their social and emotional needs.

At this point, I do not know what to do. I desperately need the wisdom of God and His guidance and possible (direction) in this situation. Do I want to leave? Yes. But do I want to leave the kids? No. I(they) need them. 

Copyright © 2020 by A Meeting at the Well

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