Am I leaving? Or have I just arrived?

Today I was reminded in several instances about how important my role as a teacher is…

by my cousin in Panama, through a very nice Facebook post porque en Panamá, hoy es el Día del Maestro.

by Eric Mann and Ashley Franklin of the Strategy Center who left a voicemail and personally signed note respectively, each thanking me for my involvement with their youth organizing campaigns over the years.

by the United Way, who informed me last week that I had “been nominated for the 2nd annual Inspirational Teacher Award and identified as a top teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District.”

by the National Writing Project’s Educator Innovator program letting my nemesis and I know: “We are now delighted to let you know that your LRNG Innovation Challenge proposal ‘Supporting Game Design for Students, Teachers, and Parents in South Central Los Angeles’ has been approved for funding!”

And once again by those that are hopefully impacted by my role the most; my students. For some reason, several students had gotten word that this would be my last year teaching at Hawkins. I shockingly replied, “Do you know something I don’t?!” Many replied that I couldn’t do that because, in their words, “you’re one of those teachers that…” (You can fill in the blank)

Either way, I’m here now. And I’m proud to be where I am. Despite the fact that a close friend and former colleague of mine about fell out of his chair in shock and awe (and anger) when I told him what a 10 year veteran in LAUSD makes, including the compensation I get from my other two jobs at other institutions of learning. UTLA’s demands for schools students deserve, including pay that teachers deserve couldn’t come at a more timely juncture… But that’s a post for another day, hopefully when we renegotiate a fair and dignified contract.

Today I’m just honored and proud to be a teacher. Not bad for a Monday returning from a holiday.

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