Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Old School

Here is the stately facade of good old Rhino virus Elementary School, where I spend most of my non-rangering workdays. Built in 1930 this elegant structure served as a Junior High School and now, as an elementary school (grades pre K through 5).

I really enjoy teaching here. This is one of the two Washington County schools at which I do about 95% of my subbing gigs.

Last week I was at another school, a delightful suburban school, filled with delightful suburban students, and, as it was "grandparents day" it was also filled with many delightful suburban grandparents. When I mentioned to the other teachers there that I did most of my work at R.V.E.S. (go Rhinos!) their faces fell, and they gave me lots of "tsk, tsk, poor dear" comments. See, Rhino virus is an inner-city school, and unlike the school that I was subbing at on the day of my comments, Rhino virus is a microcosm of inner-city elementary school problems including homeless students, fragmented families, poverty, incarcerated parents, etc. However, the circumstances of the community don't have to define the school.

Rhino virus is a wonderful school with an incredibly cohesive and supportive staff of teachers, administrators, lunch ladies, custodians, crossing guards, secretaries, and playground ladies. Everyone there works together to provide the students with hot meals, a safe environment, and an excellent education. The kids seem to shake-off many of their outside woes when they come to this safe, bright, clean place filled with adults who really care about the safety, education, and general well-being of the student population.

The corridors are brimming over with student work.

Some of the best lessons are also the simplest.

This is a school where everyone, even substitute teachers, are keenly aware of the fact that every day they are making a positive impact on the lives of children; children who may "fall through the cracks" in other, bigger, city schools.

The place may give me more colds and sinus infections than I've ever gotten before, but it's a wonderful place to make a difference in a kid's life.

Wash your hands!

Mr. G

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When I played in Army bands, the most enthusiastic audiences were in inner city schools. That's also what's so great about working at Antietam. You feel like in a small way you are making people's lives better. I remember you telling a visitor that we were there to make sure that they got the most out of their visit. What a thrill it is to be able to do that (and also get paid for doing it.)

John C. Nicholas

John C. Nicholas