The More Things Change

My school is pretty middle class (though people’s definitions of middle class vary greatly–let’s skew a little to the lower side, shall we?  Yes, we shall), but it’s sincerely deeply rooted in its rural, redneck-ness.


That said, the community’s changed quite a bit since I went to high school just down the road.  The local strip mall area is starting to look more and more like the strip mall areas of the more affluent surrounding communities.  The school is about ten minutes from two different Best Buy locations.  More and more iPhones are popping up in the school (including mine.  Thanks, Dad!  Graduate school was difficult, and I appreciate the reward).


Just when I start to think that the winds of change are at gale levels (gale-ity?).  That my school district is a region where college-educated parents will come to raise their kids on books and high expectations.  Just when I start to assume my students live in an area that prides itself more on academic success than being able to identify with Lynyrd Skynyrd songs, a student opens his wallet and shows me pictures of his pet squirrel.


Suddenly, I’m reminded that this place hasn’t changed too much, but that is precisely why I love it and think these kids are just as neat as can be.  Ok, I’m done with the NPR-esque attitude of “ain’t these backwater folk intriguingly droll?”  I’m going to listen to that new Kid Rock song that I so totally identify with, because, you know, I did stuff with my teenage friends while music played in the background, too. Ugh.


One response to “The More Things Change

  1. A pet squirrel? That’s rich. I’m in my 6th year of teaching, and the things my students will say and do never cease to amaze me. I like your blog, or web site, or whatever it is. BTW, I found you b/c I googled “Lil Wayne” and “Poetry” in an effort to find a halfway usable lesson with his lyrics and poetry (my poetry unit starts after Thanksgiving.) Side note: isn’t it interesting that “google” is now a verb? But I digress…. I totally agree with your assessment of Lil Wayne. My students (100% Black) are IN LUUUV with him, and it’s annoying beyond belief. I taunt them by describing him as “toenail ugly.” As a white woman teaching in the MS Delta, I’ve come to like rap and hip-hop music, but NOT him. Oh, a suggestion for decorating your classroom… I don’t know if you have the paneled fluorescent lights in the trailer, but if you do, try this: pop the panels down, and layer tissue paper or regular colored paper (NOT construction paper; too thick) on the plastic panels, then put them back. This diffuses the cold, fake light and adds interest to the ceiling. My students are enthralled with it… “cool” they tell me. High praise, coming from 9th graders. I’ve bookmarked you; looking forward to more!

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