The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I can't believe it is only day 3

I feel like I have been teaching for weeks already. I can't believe it is only day 3. I recovered from yesterday's freak out about budget cuts, which really was just caused by frustration about lacking in necessary supplies, paired with the stress high stakes assessments and time crunches.

I am a resilient person by nature, and I came up with an awesome lesson plan that included all the great things a lesson plan should have... engagement, direct instruction in content area vocabulary, technology, modeling, interaction with the text, and bell-to-bell teaching. Of course, nothing went the way it should... everything took longer, my LCD projector gave out, the windows make it hard to see the overhead, but I got the testing done that needed to get done. I collected the homework, and had the students working and learning most of the period. This was good stuff.

Oh, and today was the first lock down of the year and the new room. It was a little scary, and I will admit, all that glass makes me feel really vulnerable in protecting all those kids. One of the kids in my advisory class says, "Uh... Mrs. Mohr, those cars are driving really fast." Then, "Mrs. Mohr, I hear police sirens!" I remained calm thinking, "Could be anything," as another kid says, "Mrs. Mohr, Police helicopters are circling..." I went and shut the door and said, "Well, they haven't said anything about a lock down yet." As I was saying that, they started to announce the lockdown. We stood still for a minute to listen for instructions. As the transition to 2nd period was just about to happen, the director instructed the students to go to 2nd period, but do NOT go outside the building. My kids looked at me and said, "What about us? We are already outside the building." Then, he said that our buildings would go to the conference room. I think he meant the kids who would be coming to me, but I let me students run over there anyway. I just told them to go fast. It was lifted before we even got there.

But this afternoon, I found out that the stand off was right across the street from the middle school campus (across from ours) and the guns were pointed right towards the elementary play yard... at recess. Scarier for their school than for mine, but seriously, I now see that I did not make the wisest decision in having them leave the building. When I told my boss later that my plan really was to go in the storage closet and the bathroom, he laughed. Why does everyone think I am kidding? I'm not. The next lock down, no one is leaving the room. We really will be in the storage closet and the bathroom.

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