In a couple of weeks I will be starting my second year as a teacher in the South Bronx. As I went through a School of Education and as I taught last year the analogy of the "Front Lines of Education" kept coming up. Some of my friends from the School of Ed and I talked about manning the front lines from the beginning. About a handful of us actually took the dive and sought out the most difficult teaching positions we could find- those generally reserved for teachers who couldn't find positions elsewhere, those who grew up in the areas where those positions are found or those who go through alternative teaching programs (such as Teach for America, New York City Teaching Fellows, etc.) and may or may not be serious about making a career out of teaching.
This blog is dedicated to our fight for a better education for our students. We've done our damnedest in the past year to survive and discover what it takes to make it as teachers in these positions. This year I'd like to reflect on the differences I see between the first and second year in the classroom. Fifty percent of teachers nationwide leave the field in the first five years, and in the city it's more than that (we had three different English teachers for our eighth graders last year - and they had three the year before). Perhaps jotting some of this stuff down will help them to change their minds. The long and the short of it is that we need good men and women on the front line. In the words of one of my esteemed colleagues last year, "the more we help you newbies the less work we have to do training your replacements."
As for the wine, it came to my attention that to calm my nerves last year a drink now and then certainly didn't hurt. Wine - especially the reds - have positive health benefits if consumed in moderation, so I've taken it upon myself to set the goal of having a glass of red wine five nights of the week this year.
Wine Tonight: Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon- also known in New York as "3 Buck Chuck." For the money it certainly can't be beat, and seeing as how I'm a teacher with some credit card debt as a result of a recent move to the Upper East Side, this one might be a staple this year.