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S.O.S. Stands for Save Our Selves

April 10, 2012
new orleans education

I love this photo of my dad looking so determined and hopeful as a little guy. As a teacher, I often get so focused on fighting fires, I shamefully don't make enough eye contact with my hopeful students, the ones who hang on my every word and gaze at me like little children.

Teaching in New Orleans is never dull. Take today, for instance.

1. A student I used to have in the fall showed back up in my homeroom today. I saw her in the hall after lunch and she told me she was back because she’s 4 months pregnant and it’s too much travel to go to the other school. Her baby daddy is MIA and she’s in so much pain she’s crying. Our 1-day-a-week nurse is also MIA, and my girl is too embarrassed to go in the cafeteria. I tell her she has to eat for the baby, and to hide out in my room.

2. During the prego convo, another student and administrator are yelling at each other across us, down the hall. Shut your mouth. No, you shut your mouth. Get back here. Iownt cah! It’s difficult to have a serious conversation when there is a tornado of hatred/control/fuss going on over the top.

3. Several students told me point blank they aren’t coming to school after the LEAP test. I tried to reason with them that they can earn 4 high school credits if they keep coming until the end of June, but they insist that a long summer break is more important.

4. A girl in my homeroom made fun of another student for NOT smoking weed. She then told him the name of our resident middle school drug dealer, giggled, put her head down and went to sleep. She was too stoned to stay awake.

5. When reading a story about Niagra Falls, a student pipes up, “Oh no, baby, no water. After Katrina, I lived on a bridge for 2 weeks eating nothin’ but Now and Laters and crunchy noodles. You think I like water? I don’t even swim no more. The only time I get near water is for a bath.”

6. I found out I’m spending my 33rd birthday taking 20 of our kids on a chartered bus trip to Atlanta. Only some of them know that Atlanta is a city, not a state. What better present than to show them there is a world outside of New Orleans?

7. I was signing a bathroom pass for a girl during 3rd block. I often just sign my initials, S.D.S., but she read it as S.O.S.

“Ms. Summers, what’s S.O.S.?”

“It’s S.D.S. For my name. Sunny Dawn Summers. S.O.S. stands for Save Our Ship.”

“Oh, I thought it was S.O.S. like Save Our Selves. Yeah, Save Our Selves. Save Our Selves.”

That, too.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. didier morvan permalink
    April 10, 2012 4:29 pm

    There seem to be days when you are inspired and days you want to rage at the world…….

  2. Christina permalink
    April 23, 2012 5:06 pm

    Wow…how do we fix all this?

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