Most of my day today consisted of me watching animal videos on Facebook. If you are Facebook friends with me, you know this to be true.
I mean I took Vinnie to work, went to the store, did the whole dinner thing, made the bed, hung up some clothes, but the majority of the time, I was on Facebook watching cute animal videos. I need an intervention.
Here is the problem. I am taking my Paraeducator test on Thursday. If you remember correctly, I had to reschedule it last month. Now that the stars have aligned, meaning I gave strict orders for Joe and the kids to fend for themselves this Thursday between the hours of 8-12, it is coming down to crunch time. I need to pass this test. I need to study for this test and not be watching cute little animal videos on my “day off.”
I mean I am kinda doing my part. In the third grade classroom I hang out in, I do the math lessons right along with the other kiddos. Most of the time I get it right. But, this is third-grade people! I am going to just assume that the math part of this test goes beyond third-grade math. God help me.
As soon as I pass the test, I can officially upload my application and resume to the district website. (Shout out to Christin who will be helping me with that!) And hopefully, find a job.
It is more important than ever that I find a job. Our rent has been raised 300.00 a month. I will pause while you let that sink in.
The area where I live is just crazy expensive. We have an influx of homeless people that come from Seattle. Give it a few more months and I guarantee we will have more. Our housing market is crazy.
Last week at the school was “Teacher Appreciation” week. Friday, it was recess. I was hanging out in the classroom I have adopted for myself. Two students were in there. Due to behavior issues, they were not allowed to go to recess. The teacher was talking to these two students who have a love/hate relationship with each other, trying to make some sort of sense on why it was they were arguing with the other.
I am standing off to the side listening to one of the students, let’s call him “Kenny.”
“Why do the teachers get appreciation and the students don’t?” “That’s not fair” “We should get something too.”
At this point, another third-grade teacher comes in the room. She stands next to me, asking “What’s going on?” There was no explanation needed, she knew exactly what was going on five seconds into the student/teacher conversation.
Kenny is not letting up. “It’s not fair!” “Why did you become a teacher?” “Why do you want to work here Mrs. Pedro?” “This school is stupid.” “Everyone lies.”
I was getting annoyed. And, as my close friends and family know, I am not good at hiding my annoyance. I am in this particular classroom most days. I have been ever since September. Some days I am there an hour or two, some days only half an hour, some days all day. Either way, I feel I know this classroom.
Quickly, I formed my words, being mindful I am talking to a troubled third grader. “We do this for our teachers to thank them for an amazing job they do teaching you guys.”
I was cut off by the teacher. “Don’t even bother, it’s not going to go anywhere.”
Frustrated, I took my place back by the side of the other third-grade teacher who came into the room. I looked at and her, and whispered: “I may need to rethink this Para thing.”
Kenny was still going. “It’s stupid.” “This school is not fair.” “Why can’t I go to recess?” All the time the teacher was doing what he does best. Teaching.
I only have twenty-some school days left at this school, then I am off to the next chapter of my life, as are many of the teachers at this particular school.
So many thoughts I have running through my head. None that I can verbalize, because even though I am not in a paid position, this teacher is my “boss” and in order for me to continue to have the privilege of being in the classroom, I have to abide by what is asked of me. I needed to keep my mouth shut.
Later that night, I thought about Kenny. I fast forwarded about nine years in my head. Kenny will be a Senior. Now, I have my own theories on what goes on at home. Unfortunately, I believe Kenny has been taught not to respect people who are a different race than he is. This is just my opinion and my opinion alone.
I hope to God Kenny makes it to a high school Senior. I have my doubts, I worry, but I also have hope. I have hope that one day, Kenny will be able to look back and realize that years ago when he was a third grader, something will click with him. As Kenny is on the varsity football team or head of the debate club, something will click and he will get it. “Oh yeah, that teacher was a legit teacher, he did care.”
This is one of the very few reasons I am going to forge ahead and take the Para test. Because, even though I was so tempted to tell Kenny in a stern and powerful voice “I do not know who you are talking to or why it is you think you can get away with that tone of voice, you need to turn to your teacher RIGHT NOW and apologize for your entitled little attitude that will get you nowhere in life.” I have to realize that in the bigger picture of this thing called life, maybe things will turn out better for all the Kenny’s out there.