Ms. Allen's Classroom

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Dec 10 2012

Dear Students…

Dear Students,

In the past four months you have more than tested my patience.  You have made me cry more days than I can count.  You have cursed me out, written profanity about me all over my room, threatened me and even hit me.  You have caused me to lay awake in the mornings contemplating a personal day.  You have made me wonder what the hell else I can do.

You have told me to quit.  You have made me want to quit.  At times, I have even quit in the middle of lessons for a few minutes.  You have not listened to my lessons, that I have written late at night or early in the morning.  You have not done the work that I have given you.  You refuse to sit in your assigned seats.  You do not say please or thank you.  You lose all the worksheets that I give you (and have spend too many hours formatting, printing and copying).  You do not walk in a line from class to class, and because of that I have nightmares and anxiety about passing time and transitions.  You beg and beg to go to the bathroom, but then when I take you on bathroom breaks you goof off and have dance parties.  You make a mess of my classroom.  You steal my things….on my birthday.  You have made me tell others to not become teachers.  You have broken my favorite 3-hole punch.

Students, there have been days when i have hated you.  When you have made me feel like a failure in a job that I have always dreamt of doing and a job that has consumed my entire life.  You have made me tired.  More tired than I thought possible.

I do not know why I go into work every, single day.  There are teachers who say they go in for those little successes, but I do not have those with you.  But, I go in.  Every single day I am at the door to greet you.  I politely say good morning, no matter what happened the day before.  I promise you, students, that that will never change.  Ever.  No matter what.  I will not quit on you, even if that’s what you think you want.  I will continue to plan lessons.  I will continue to give you positive feedback and rewards.  I will continue to help you when you don’t understand (even though most of the time you don’t understand because you weren’t listening).  I will continue to think outside of the box to create interesting lessons (even for you, Nassir, who is never happy with anything).  I will continue to turn the AC on and off thousands of times a day just to make you comfortable. I will stick up for you when another teacher is ready to write you up.  I will break up your fights.  I will try to understand where you are coming from.  I will believe in you.  (Even you Wayne, Broddrick, LeJuan and Demond…even when you are wasting your time misbehaving).

I am stubborn, and yes, some days it is only the fact that I am stubborn that gets me to work. But, also, I will stay here because if I don’t, who will?  If I don’t show up then what does that teach you?  You deserve an excellent education.  I want to give you one.

Hopefully someday you will understand.  Hopefully.


Ms. A

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Greater New Orleans
Middle School

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