Saturday, June 12, 2010

Delta Autumn

I don't really know much about Mississippi.  I've never been here prior to two weeks ago and about the only thing I knew was its capital.  I only just learned where the delta actually was...and to my amazement, it was nowhere near the coast.  Needless to say, my knowledge of Mississippi is quickly growing and the first chapter of Delta Autumn opened my eyes to its very storied educational past.  After reading the first chapter, it's completely clear why the MS educational system is in its current condition.  The state's fate was sealed long ago, and it's incredible that it has taken this long for programs to start addressing MS educational problems.  Reading the book definitely reinforced my decision to be here.

While on the bus to Holly Springs, I was reading chapter five which references students with special needs.  On the first page of the chapter, I came across the line, “Teachers quite often are alone in the process of developing appropriate classroom responses and modifications for these students.”  The quote was talking specifically about being alone in dealing with students that need special attention because of learning disabilities.  The part that resonated with me, however, was the very beginning - “teachers quite often are alone in the process.”  Before finishing the sentence, I remember looking up and staring out the window for much of the remainder of our ride.  I guess it hit me at that moment, that when I move to the delta in August, I’ll be alone in my classroom.  Yes, I’ll have fellow MTCers at my high school, but in my classroom, it’s just me.  That realization of immense responsibility hit me like a bag of bricks.  It’s crazy to think that only a month ago I graduated from college, and come August, I’m in charge of a classroom. The thought will definitely take some time to get used to, but right now, I take each day as it is.   

On a different note, I found this book to be an invaluable source of knowledge and advice. At any point where I found an interesting idea, good piece of advice, or crazy statistic, I put a check mark in the margin. Before August, I’ll probably go back and re-read all those areas with check marks, scrutinizing over every detail and trying to read in between the lines. It's a good thing that Dr. Mullins gave us this book, and it's a better thing that we have to blog on it (mainly so I would actually read it). There were good parts, funny parts, and scary parts. The section on fights was not the most uplifting read. The second sentence of that section reads (with regard to fights in school), "They do happen, and they will happen in your presence." This is not exactly what I want to read, but it's good to hear the truth and be prepared for everything.  After all, that’s what this summer is all about anyway – to be prepared.  So as I lay this book down, I know that very soon, I’ll be picking it back up, maybe just to skim or maybe just to look at the checked sections, but I know I’m not done with this book. 

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