Friday, September 30, 2005

Weekend Reading

I will probably write a lot this weekend, as I have a lot of work to do and work=procrastination=blogging.

But just in case I don't, you really ought to go over to From the TFA Trenches and read the latest installments about the home visits this teacher has been making. I have never visited a student's home. While I think it could be valuable, I don't think it's absolutely necessary. Also, I'll be honest, the idea of wandering through the projects knocking on doors all evening doesn't exactly thrill me. Of course, it also doesn't thrill me that my students - children - live in places I'm at least slightly afraid to visit, but that's just the way it is.

Incidentally, they continue to get jumped on their way home from school. We have a few sixth graders considering leaving our school because they don't feel safe in the neighborhood. A few incidents this week really shook them up. My 8th grade HS prep kids asked me to walk them to the bus stop. I am very clear with myself and them that I am merely a deterrent - other kids won't bother them with an adult authority figure present - but that if a large enough group of kids decided to attack them/us, I wouldn't actually be able to do much good other than trying to break it up, calling the police, and making sure I'd be able to make an ID later. Authority is a weird thing. I'm a teacher, but I'm not the bullies' teacher. I'm an adult, but I'm not exactly scary-looking. Yet the kids are pretty sure they'll be safe with me around.

Anyway, for those and other reasons I have never done home visits.

But Mr. AB has been meeting his kids' families, and he writes penetratingly about two very different homes: the haves, and the have-nots.


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