We FINALLY have internet access - yay!
The past few weeks have been spent in training either with Teach for America, the Department of Ed, or my school. This week I spent 15 hour days in my classroom sorting through tons of curriculum (none of it is mine), meeting people, doing and re-doing bulletin boards, and yelling at kids trying to break in my room.
I'm beginning to recognize people on the bus and in the gym and on the sidewalk in my neighborhood. On Friday night I lugged everything I would need to prepare for Tuesday on the bus. A crate and a big pad of chart paper and numerous books and supplies screamed teacher to everyone I passed. One guy at the back of the bus insisted on giving his seat to me. As I argued with him telling him that I didn't need his seat, a lady sat down in the argued over seat and I was offered a seat by yet another person. I sat this time, saying thank you more than is natural in this city.
"You a teacher?" they asked.
"Yep," I replied in true middle school fashion.
For the next 45 minutes we talked about my former students and future students and why I was here. We talked about their struggles with drug addiction and unemployment and what it's like for people who fall through the cracks. They both live in shelters now.
We reached my stop and they shook my hand. "Welcome to our community," they said. "Keep fighting for our kids - we're glad you're here."
I got a couple of 'Amens!' from people sitting in our area of the bus and as I walked down my street with 2 bags, a crate, and aching muscles, the back section of a Bronx bus waved at me.