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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The students are worried, too.

This morning when I went to pick my students up on the playground before school, the first words spoken to me were, "Teacher! They're going to close the school?!"

"We'll talk about it," I promised. I kept putting off the discussion, but later in the day when they asked again, I decided it was a good time.

Me: So, people have have been talking. What have you all heard?
Students: Our school's going to close!
Me: Okay, yeah. Awesome School is probably going to have to close at the end of the school year. You'll all go to different schools for 2nd grade. I'm not sure where exactly you'll all go.
Student: We going to go back to kinder?!
Me: No, don't worry. You'll all go to 2nd grade, it will just be at a different school.
Student: But I don't want to leave you!!
Me: You'll have a different teacher next year anyway!
Student (runs up to hug me): I'll miss you Ms. GrownUp!
Me: I'm not going anywhere now. We still have a long time together.

Student: I know too it's 'cause people are leaving our school, like Alicia and Cristofer and Valeria (three students who recently moved away).
Me: That's partly true. One reason they're closing the school is because a lot of people are moving away in the whole district, because they don't have enough money to live here or their parents can't find a job here.
Student: They have to live somewhere else so they can be good, huh?
Me: Yeah, they have to find somewhere to live where their parents can get a job and they can have enough money.

Student: Yeah. They're closing our school 'cause it don't have money, too!
Me: You're right. Another reason they are closing our school is because the school district doesn't have enough money. When they don't have enough money, they have to close a school.
Student: Teacher, I'm gonna bring money tomorrow.
Student: Yeah, me too. I'm going to ask my dad for money so that we can keep Awesome School.
Student: I have money and I'm going to bring it too.
Me: That's really nice of you all, but it's a LOT of money that the district needs. A real lot of money.
Student: Well. I'm not leaving Awesome.
Student: Me too. I'm never leaving Awesome School.
Student: I'm not leaving too. I love Awesome.

And later in the day during writing, one of my students wrote this plea as a letter to the principal:

"Dr. Principal is nice. I want to be in my classroom. Don't close the school. I like the school. I want to be in third grade and fourth grade and fifth grade."

I tried to reassure this student that s/he would be in all those grades, just not in this building, but I'm not sure how successful I was in that attempt.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aww... :(


9:36 AM  
Blogger Rebecca Bell, Ph.D. said...

So sad. I don't understand why decision-makers take what is working well and undermine it. Then again, I have been in two "underperforming schools" that have closed and then the kids in the more difficult economic circumstances have to bear the burden of hour long bus trips to other schools. I wish there was enough to go around so we could support all schools.

11:03 AM  

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