Sunday, July 15, 2012


My first week of teaching has finished, and to be candid with you the stories that I have from my classroom have really been quite a letdown . I am teaching at Markhem Middle School in Watts. The school is surrounded by four of the largest projects in Los Angeles, one of them being the second largest this side of the Mississippi. When a friend of mine googled Markhem Middle School, the first article that showed up had this opening “even in the most challenging of economic times, many unemployed teachers would rather remain jobless than teach in one of the harshest environments.”

The lack of scholarly expectation for this school created a high expectation for stories to be told within my mind. Sadly this has not been the case yet.  The students in my mind are too well-behaved. They are too obedient, and they are too boring. My first week on the job has been relatively boring. I mean there was  John Williams III (da third) who wants to go to college, have a wife and kids, and own a house. When I further pushed and questioned John about his future profession he said "naw Mr. Evans I got that figured out… After college I’m gonna bag groceries at Wal-Mart." For the most part, the stories of these children have been rather dull and boring.
While there has been a relative lack of excitement in regard to the drama in my students' lives, there is no durth in the troubles that they face. There are about five kids in my seventh grade Pre-Algebra class who haven’t the slightest clue how to perform the times tables. One kid even used a freaking numberline. I have about three kids reading on grade level, the rest are behind a grade or two, and there are about three who have a first or second grade reading level.

The saddest part about all of this is that these students are in the magnet program of the school. They are the scholars of Markhem Elementary. I hope they can succeed and I hope that I can help them, but I will be dead honest- can one teacher really change the life of all thirty of his students? I’d like to believe so and I want to work towards that, but I’m not sure it can happen.

My greatest fear is failing to give up as much as I reasonably can for these children.  I always feel like I can do better and I always feel that I can do more to help. We will have to see how everything works out. I hope it will go well.

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