So I’m a real relaxed teacher. If you tryna work and not be a jerk about school expectations there’s not much else I’ma trip off of. I believe in personal responsibility, self management, and failure as a pathway to success. My students struggle under the weight of self accountability at first, the weeping and gnashing of middle school teeth be like I just dropped them down into the 7th level of hell. It be like:
Ugh. But you didn’t tell me. But why!? Omg! You do too much. You extra.
Nah. I just expect you to be responsible, b.
When it’s working, my classroom look disorderly–like, it be realllll reckless. Kids everywhere. Stuff all over. Kids get super comfortable. So comfortable, I find myself fussing like I’m at home with my own kids about getting butts off furniture and picking up after yourself and why the hell you eating in here when I told you not to eat in here.
So imagine, if you will, the surprise of the 9 people who came to observe me the other day as they flooded my room. Lights off. Shades drawn. Kids sprawled on carpets, at tables, desks, and my desk. Some with computers. Some writing on the Promethean. Some writing on their desks with dry erase markers. Me sitting at a group (my desks are in pods) conferencing with a kid. Students walking to where I am with questions. Hella chill.
You wouldn’t think our school was trying to get our accreditation back by walking in my room, lolz. Cuz no shows was being put on. We was in there on chill mode like we was at home.
Nah. We trying to get chose.
It’s just that I don’t care. I don’t care what folks who don’t know me or my students think about how we learn. My goal is to have a comfortable environment in which my students can learn safely. Feel supported. Be uninhibited. Maths is hard enough as it is without me adding to the pressure.
And you know what? Every kid that day rose to the inconvenient occasion. They answered all the questions. Explained our learning environment. Showed off, bruh. And Me? I kept right on keeping on. Cuz that’s what rogue teachers do. We keep doing what’s best for kids. Not test scores. Not visitors. Not content. Kids.