Wednesday evening I received a comment/response to my last post. I meant to post it prior to now...but this week has been hella busy. On the upside, I've had time to reflect on AC's response, so I've had a chance to come to terms with the fact that I shouldn't have taken the initial comment so harshly. I really need to learn to give folks the benefit of the doubt, rather than believing it's an all-out attack each time. I'm also coming to terms with the fact that I need to guard against becoming overly anti-middle/upper class. (I'm developing a tendency to be hypercritical of the "privileged" segment of society...I need to watch that, lest I become the very thing I detest: prejudiced.) sheesh. Sometimes it sucks being human.
My apologies for the delay....
AC: I am your anonymous commenter.
I want to clear a couple things up.... I truly was asking those questions without judgment. I was just wondering. It's something I think about from time to time and I wanted your take on it. I do read your blog on a pretty regular basis so i know all the good that you do for your kids. I think that it is WONDERFUL. I know that you have made a true difference not only for Buggy's family but for many of your other students--probably more than you even know.
Me: Doh. Ms. H....next time, don't jump to conclusions.
AC: I am a young teacher--and yes, also a female. I do NOT teach in an area where the community is affluent. The kids I see are mostly from blue-collar families. I see their struggles and I do my best to help them out when I can. I don't worry about "what other people think" necessarily, but I do try to make sure that I don't get put in an uncomfortable situation (which is NOT to say that's what I think you are doing).
Me: Damn conclusion-jumping. Gotta watch that...
AC: My school has a very severe climate of tenured vs. non-tenured teachers and as a yonger teacher I fall into the latter which means I have to watch my back for all kinds of things--super documentation of communications, etc. So, because little things can be used against me so easily, I get a little worried about other things such as giving rides. So I was interested in your perspective. I would imagine that your school has a different/better climate, so your concerns are probably different than mine.
Me: I am so incredibly thankful for the climate at Uberschool. I need to remember what it's like to work in a place where you're not trusted or supported...but rather watched, to make sure that every mistake is noted. AC, believe me when I say I truly feel for you...and I am so sorry for my hasty judgments. I feel horrible that you reached out, and I didn't offer the help you were seeking.
AC: I honestly wanted to hear your point of view.
(Perhaps I worded the other comment poorly and for that I apologize. To suggest that I don't want to do everything that I can for my students and that I teach somewhere that is affluent did offend me a little to be honest. I wish that my kids' parents were involved, could always come to pick the kids up, give them money for whatever they want, etc. I can't count the number of times I have given bus fare, lunch money, etc to my kids.)
Me: I am a schmuck. I apologize....I projected my frustration onto you. That wasn't fair to you. Forgive me?
AC: I really give my kids everything that I can--I laugh with them, cry with them and think about them probably more than I should. (Sometimes I have no other life then that school!) I have kids in gangs that I push to find SAT prep books and try my hardest to steer away from the millitary too. I found myself really relating to that part of your story because I had done the same thing (to a lesser degree) around that same time.
Me: There are times I actually have 2 minutes to myself, and I start wondering where the hell Mr. Right is...and then I realize that he would have a helluva time making his entrance in my life -- and would probably require a hall-pass to do so! I know that eventually my priorities will shift to marriage and my own family...but right now, from the outside, it looks like I don't have a life....but I, too, am so wrapped up in my "work" that it has become my life. And my heart.
To my military-family readers: Please don't think I am anti-military for my students. There are some of my kiddos that will truly benefit from a decision to join the military. And I will totally support their decision. My concern is that they receive an accurate picture of what they're getting into...and adequate information to make an informed decision. If they have that, and want to proceed, I'll move mountains to help them. On the flip...if they truly explore both sides of the college-option, and decide it's not for them, I'll help them with that as well.
AC: I really was asking in a good spirit of teacherhood and nothing else. I was NOT meaning to hurt your feelings or make you angry. I am not a black and white thinker...In fact, I was just interested in your take on your shade of grey. That's it.
Me: Just call me Super Sensitive. I should have squashed my crankiness just a little more before writing my response. No apology necessary...I hope I haven't convinced you that reaching out to the 'veterans' is too painful to attempt. Because it's become an invaluable source of wisdom for me...and I would hate to think I've encouraged you to not reach out. (It sounds like some of the folks at your school are already doing that...darn 'em.)
I have to get ready to go up to school for detention/classtime redemption....but I will post another entry later today. AC, if you would like to email me, I would like an opportunity to answer some of your questions in a not-so-public forum. (And maybe redeem myself by offering some of the help that I neglected to earlier this week.) *sheepish grin*