8am Rockstars

In the streets of Alameda, another training session breaks out to inform ELA teachers new approaches in reading and writing. Some of us attended a short introduction last year, but all ELA teachers were required to attend this year’s formal training in order to implement the “new” strategies into our current curriculum ASAP. The district made a plan, it seemed, to homogenize our teaching methods.

We waited in the open air arena in the cold of the morning. Some were obviously unhappy to be there, but most of us were apathetic and congenial.  We couldn’t do much about missing two days of teaching; this was district-enforced — not to educate our students.  While huddled at the picnic benches and making small-talk, the 1st period bell rang and students began flooding around us, curious why there were so many adults gathered at their school.  Then a group of girls noticed me and shouted, “Hi, Ms. Chung!!!” They ran over to where I was sitting with such commotion, others began to notice and shout.  Within seconds, I became a Rockstar.  There were kids in front of me, back of me, above me (it was an open space with an upstairs walkway surrounding the center); and with kids waving and shouting all around, I suddenly felt (really) cool.  Two years ago when I was assigned to that school, I spent so many nights crying because of some intolerable kids.  But at that moment surrounded by happy faces, I forgot about my past tears and kept saying, “OMG! WOW! You’re so TALL!” “You’ve grown so much!” “I DO remember your name! It’s ____!”  “AWWW~.”  I was so happy to see them too.

It’s past 12am and I will need to wake up in ~six hours. I know staying up this late will kill me in the morning, but waking up will be less painful if I remember those happy faces…

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