A few months have passed since I've written. Since my last entry I have had several interviews at various schools for full time positions, unfortunately nothing fruitful. Last Thursday I interviewed for a leave replacement position in a middle school. The A.P. was pleasant enough, the school wasn't too far away from my home and I was quite hopeful. Unfortunately it wasn't meant to be. The A.P. explained that if given the job I would be working in a classroom where each student was reading a different book. I didn't follow her at first so I asked her to explain. Basically for each class (5 in total) there are approximately 30-33 students and each one of them is reading a different text. She explained they teach to each child's reading level and I asked if there was 30-33 levels in each class. I was dumbfounded. She couldn't really explain that. I thought perhaps they did not have a budget to provide students with the same books. I could understand if you had each class reading 3-4 books. That would be manageable. I could see the students working in groups and lessons being created perhaps on a common theme that each book shared. I asked the A.P. how this benefited the students? How was the current teaching teaching? She said the teacher wasn't effective and I could understand why. I felt terrible for the students. These kids were not going to be prepared for high school. I left hoping I would not get a call back and so far I haven't.
I get called approximately one a week to substitute in the suburbs. I'll admit, teaching here full time would be a dream. I am grateful to see this example of education: the school is well funded, parents are involved, students actually behave and most teachers are fully engaged in their lessons. This experience has reminded me of a book I read in grad school titled Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol. Rich communities have good schools and students thrive. Poor communities have poor school and seem to completely write off success for any student. In my heart I am still drawn to these types of schools. I can only pray I'll be given the opportunity to make a difference.