I’ve been listening to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ album, The Heist, a lot lately.
I’m not sure if that is either here nor there or if it has to do with anything. It’s just been my thinking music lately.
Anyway, I’m feeling…I don’t know what. Frustrated? Disappointed? Sad. I’m feeling sad.
Last week I wrote about why the Common Core Standards are not evil. Of course, after that, I ended up seeing about fifty posts about why they are basically the anti-Christ.
I lost sleep over those posts.
Why can’t they understand? Why can’t *I* make them understand?
Friday night, after midnight, I finally closed my Chromebook, and took my upset, worry-filled tummy to bed. And tossed and turned all night. I fretted all day Saturday.
I was encouraged to write another piece.
I don’t know.
Lately I feel like I am standing next to a huge…giant…ENORMOUS mountain. If I squint, I can see the top through the fog and clouds. At the top I see a spot that I would totally look good on. I would be comfortable there. And I know, I KNOW I would rock that spot on the top of the mountain.
But then I let me eyes travel down from that spot on the top. Down the side, over the cliffs and crags, over and under the dangers and perils, until I get to my own two feet at the bottom of the mountain.
I look around me a the rather large hills that I climb each day. Some times I run up them and stand at the top with my arms raised. Other times I pull myself up by sheer will power.
Other days I don’t quite make it to any of the tops of those hills.
And then I look back up that mountain.
I am so small.
I am just one person.
The internet is not my job. It’s not even my full-time hobby or passion.
Over the past six+ years, I have accumulated a small audience. A community I love. People out there who support my writing and push me forward in this thing called life with love and words.
But we are a small speck of the internet.
I’ve always been Ok with that because it’s never been my intent to leave teaching for writing. It’s never been my dream or goal to write a book. I have no intention of leaving this space behind, but I don’t have any plans to make a drastic life change either. I love to teach.
Let me say it again: I love to teach.
The Common Core is not my passion; teaching students is my passion.
I have a lot…a LOT…I could say in response to the outrage and rants out there on the internet by people who are not currently in education and who are basing their opinion of the Common Core on implementation strategies and procedures they are seeing in their schools or have “heard about”.
But the internet–and all those looking for a scandal and another reason to hate public schools–are not going to listen to me, a small blogger who happens to be a teacher.
No one cares about my credentials (over a decade of teaching experience, BA in English, MA with an emphasis on teaching English, member of the National Writing Project via the Third Coast Writing Project, member of the National Council of Teachers of English, high school English teacher, and adjunct English instructor at our local community college).
The fact is I am not going to write the next viral post on education.
Because posts that tell people about the good stuff that is going on due to a government-mandated change rarely go viral. Those posts get ten or so pat-on-the-back comments from people who already read that blog (which I love, by the way) and then the internet moves on to what it can be outraged about next.
If I could, I would take the internet into my district, into my school, and into my classroom. I would show you my students and their writing. I would introduce you to the families and the community. I would let you see our brutal reality, but show you how we do such SUCH positive things every single day while following the Common Core. I would invite you to a department meeting, a staff meeting, a student meeting.
Shoot, forget about the Common Core. I don’t even care about it. What I care about is public education. I care about changing the perspective. I care about fixing the system.
I care about teaching kids. I care about making their future better.
I could climb that mountain and I could get to the top and I could be loud and proud up there.
But it’s just a big mountain.
And I’m so small.
So I will turn away from that mountain and leave it for another day. Although, as my man Robert Frost said in a poem that is sort of famous, I know how “way leads on to way” and that I will probably never come back.
I’d look good on top of that mountain. I would.
But I can’t abandon the hills for the cause–or pride- of climbing a mountain.
On a totally different note, my friend Jennifer P. Williams is at the tail end of her 31 days of cookies series and yesterday she posted a recipe I sent her for Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies.