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All posts for the month February, 2017

Because it matters

Published February 20, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I haven’t written for a while. I have had many, many things to say, some of which I would be able to say without having to censor myself or even sedate myself too much. But I haven’t been focused enough to find the time.

You see, I am a teacher and as any teacher can tell you the one thing we always need is enough. Enough time, enough supplies, enough funding. There is never enough.

I haven’t written because I haven’t had enough time. I’ve been using it on other things.

The thing is this is the at least the tenth time I have sat down to write, but just haven’t.  I wanted to write about Fayth.

Last week one of my students was taken from us. It was unexpected and it was horrible. It was so horrible I can’t bear to allow the words for it to share the space with my memory.

Fayth Norman was a lovely bright girl. I do not use those words lightly. When I say lovely, I  mean exquisitely beautiful. Her white blonde hair floated down the hall as she laughed her way to class. She was bright in that light literally radiated from her smile.

Another student said talking to Fayth was like getting to see what a little bit of heaven was like. She made every day better and brighter.

I have been trying to avoid the actual gone ness of her because it makes me angry. Apparently my anger has been frightening people. (I’ve been a little tense for a number of reasons.)

Batman said something this weekend that resonated with me.  About an unrelated issue he said that he would like for someone to dig through all of the red tape and say, “I know it’s wrong, I know it doesn’t make sense. The rules say ‘this is what you’re supposed to do’ But you matter! Let’s throw away the rules.  Let’s go through this together and make it make sense. Because you matter.  We will find a different way. Because you matter. ”

This is exactly what I get to do with each of my students. And that’s why I miss Fayth. And why I would miss each and every other student if they were suddenly not there.

I can close my eyes and see the warm brown eyes and slow smile on one side of the room to the funny and goofy faces another student makes to amuse everyone. Then there is the one student who always does the exact opposite of what you think he will and it is hilarious every time.

And I will miss Fayth.

But I will not lose her.

She is right here in my heart.

Fayth mattered.

 

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ― Edmund Burke

Published February 3, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I haven’t blogged in almost a month. My heart feels grim. I do have a bit of hope, only because I must put on a mostly brave face for  my students.

What concerns me the most is the inability of the people around me to just think.  (I always have this concern, I’m just hyper aware of it right now. I often have to bite my tongue to keep from saying, “What are you? Stupid? I know this is not a good attitude for a teacher to have.)

I am trying to lead by example and help my students become aware so that they can be good people and make informed choices. This is in addition to not voicing my actual opinions because as a public school teacher, I am not allowed to make a formal, public stand.

Two teachers in my area have been suspended for their political views.

One teacher in Dallas, Tx was suspended for shooting a water pistol at a picture of President Trump

A teacher in Joshua, Tx blatantly expressed her political views in her English Class. This apparently was illustrated by showing a picture of Hillary Clinton thinly disguised as Adolf Hitler.What does this have to do with teaching English?

I work with a former student of this teacher and he informed me that this person was a good teacher. Ok, that’s not the point. (This teacher is also one of the people who keeps trying to console my panic by saying, “It’s going to be ok.” He is a young, white male.  Yes, it’s going to be ok for HIM.)

I have no idea what motivated these teachers to do what they did. Regardless how you feel, as a teacher you are supposed to stay publicly neutral.  That doesn’t mean you have to be a pushover.

As one of my students, a teeny little thing who weighs maybe 50 lbs said,”Shut your yaps and get to work.”

I think it’s time.