We aren't a Kipp school or a charter school. Most teachers don't get paid extra for coming in on holidays and weekends. You would have never known any of this if you had been in Packemin today. AP calculus kids got up early and spent 3 hours going over problems, preparing for the upcoming exam. The baseball team and the tennis team (probably more, but those are the teams I saw) were hard at work on the field..(Yes, the coaches get paid but if you figure out the number of hours they work and divide that into the amount they get paid, it would probably come to pennies an hour.) The JROTC was also deep into their practice for upcoming competitions. In addition, there is a math teacher (not me) who is coming in on Saturdays because there is no time or place to give his students extra help during the week. The teachers in charge of the robotics team also put in countless, unpaid hours. I could go on and on, but I think I made my point.
Schools like Packemin don't have documentaries made about them. Our kids are not showcased because they are kids on target to graduate with honors, and on time. Sure we have our failures and there are kids like the ones in my ninth period that are difficult to reach, but, overall, we are successful.
If the media wants to keep portraying schools like the one Edward Tom's is (if he is still there) principal of, there is nothing we can do about it. But, it is important to let the world know that there are lots of successful schools, run by educators, not business people turned educators, who go the extra mile all the time and reach plenty of students, more than the few at that small school in the Bronx.
(I probably lost my best friend, pictured above to today's session. I thought they were gone a year ago, but I've managed to nurse them along until now.) I got caught on a chair and the rip is unrepairable. Oh, the sacrifice made to help our students.)