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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Centennial Must Become A Community Force

We had a staff meeting Tuesday about the problems at our school. One teacher complained that we have a small percentage of students who cause most of the problems, and that if we could somehow rid ourselves of these few, we could do a better job of teaching those who remain.

We were told that the problem would be "addressed." I don't hold out much hope for this. I suspect that little will be done about these students because we have voiced this complaint ad infinitum, and it is always being "addressed." I don't even bother to raise the issue anymore.

I think that we teachers at Centennial need to face the fact that any real solution to the problems of our school must come from us and not from some administrative action.

I think that one solution must involve us reaching out to our community so that the school becomes an important focal point in our part of Oklahoma City. We should be visiting churches, businesses, neighborhoods, and homes to talk about our school and our needs. And we need to be listening to those with whom we visit to find out what their concerns and needs are.

We must gain the trust and support of our community if we ever hope get them involved in the lives of their children.

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