Right now, I feel like Alice when she dropped down the rabbit-hole into Wonderland: “in another moment, down [I] went… never once considering how in the world [I] was to get out again… Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end!… Down, down, down. There was nothing else to do, so [I] soon began talking again.”
It’s mid-November and I’ve been going down the rabbit-hole for almost 6 weeks. I’m excited to see what happens when I arrive in Wonderland, but I’m not quite there yet. Unlike Alice, I have lots of things–too many!–to juggle while I’m falling (though, from a physics standpoint, I guess it is impossible to juggle while falling). Like Alice, I am going to continue talking.
Falling. I sense that there are many things falling these days. And I’m not talking about the leaves, or even the temperature.
- TFA CM morale is falling: at the most recent Professional Development Saturday, I heard the exhausted sighs, whooshing like a symphony out of the classroom; saw the anguished grimaces on droopy caffeine-supported faces; smelled the sizzling scent of overworked laptops and brains; and tasted the tired Au Bon Pain sandwiches, same old thing.
- Confidence in DCPS schools and faith in Chancellor Rhee is falling: I just watched tonight’s PBS News Hour, since I had heard that the latest episode on the DCPS was being aired. (PBS looks at the issue from another perspective: “tensions are rising.”) What is clear is that parents, grandparents, students, teachers, pets, cousins–they’re all tired and frustrated by the continuous drama that unfolds each day in the District.
- The dollar is falling: like this writer, though, I don’t seem to notice the effects of this downward trend. Heck, I barely notice what is happening outside of my teaching bubble. I haven’t left the country for a while. When I head home this winter (for the first time in a year), I may finally notice this; my parents probably already do.
Ahh, it’s a season of falling but, as I reflect in this trough like Samara stuck in the well, a thought comes to mind: “success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom.”
Soon, TFA morale is going to go up, as we push, united as a corps, towards that Paradise that is Thanksgiving, en route to the Greater Paradise that is Winter Vacation. Soon, faith in Michelle Rhee is going to rise, as she continues to show her unrelenting dedication to the children of DC, one so complete that she would rather lose her job than give in to what is stacked up against her. Soon, the dollar–well, who cares?
Soon, student achievement will rise out of the dust, too.