Education Opinion

Making it through the night

By Roslyn Johnson Smith, Ph.D. — December 18, 2007 1 min read
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“You can’t get to no better days unless you make it through the night.”
-Better Days sung by Dianne Reeves

We want to provide a great education for children living and surviving in the neighborhood we call Treme. We’ve hired experienced, highly qualified, veteran teachers. We promised and delivered to them the highest salaries in town. We involved them in decision-making, purchasing, and every important plan, giving them respect for the school leaders they are. How hard can it be with this type of staff? It’s very difficult when teachers are distracted by politics. It’s a challenge when teachers are in an emotional turmoil about things that they think they know. It’s impossibly hard when the teachers decide that the children WILL NOT BE FIRST! Monday morning, fifteen of our twenty four classroom teachers made that decision. It is too disheartening to write about and I need to be up early for tomorrow.

I do understand how the teachers may be feeling, if they really believe that the Board fired their principal. It’s just not true. I can accept that they want to blame someone for their disappointment and are focusing that anger on the Board. It’s just not fair. I can’t understand how some of the teachers who I’ve known and loved for many years could turn their backs on our children today. I didn’t think they could do that to me either. But they did. And it hurts so much. Good night.

The opinions expressed in Starting Over: A Post-Katrina Education are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.