Ms. B Does Her F*(k!n Job! - The Jose Vilson

Ms. B Does Her F*(k!n Job!

by Jose Vilson on September 25, 2007

I Love My TeacherToday, I had the grand opportunity of observing a “veteran” teacher, and I hate to go into details, but let’s just say that this person’s a part of the reason why our union can’t make a stronger case for having no tenure policy. Honestly, the teacher did a whole lot of nothing, and it makes it worse because the teacher’s doing it to people of the same culture.

Teachers like that one make me even more ecstatic about teachers like Ms. B. Of course, I’m not giving you her whole name, but those of you who work with me know who I’m talking about. In a conversation with another teacher, we concurred: if we had 1/2 her spice, 1/2 her energy, and 1/2 her appreciation for life, we’d never want to retire either.

She’s a spark plug, a sassy little woman with a fire like you can’t imagine. She walks down that hallway and despite her height, she runs those kids up and down. She’s intelligent, and studied with the best of them, and her determination lets her grow as a teacher, despite her minor flaws. She’s the kind of teacher that really creates a positive school tone, acting as a mother figure to so many of the ELLs in our building.

And what’s more, people want her to retire. They say she’s too old, too dated in her ways, but if that’s the case, then I have to wonder how those kids are learning in her class. Kids always show up to learn English in her classroom, even when the “monolingual” kids have been long gone. Imagine that. Yet, there she stays, this little Latina lady, plugging away at her work.

Then, I think back to that first “veteran” teacher, and think to myself, “Wow, it’s like seeing two sides of the argument for tenure.” Hopefully with people like Ms. B, we’ll always have it … just for her …

jose, who’s a fan of good and constructive school environments

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

LuzMaria September 25, 2007 at 6:53 pm

Mrs. B. was one of my mentors when I began teaching eight years ago. She helped me plan lessons and told me to follow my gut instinct. As I became the ESL/Bilingual lead teacher for our school, she began to ask me questions about how to implement the new curriculum for our kids. I was honored and humbled that this woman whom I admired and respected would care to hear my suggestion, those of a novice next to her. Mrs. B. and I had many great moments teaching. On Saturday mornings from 8-12pm, we got to do fun activities with our kids who were new to the country. We followed our own curriculum for ELLs.

The last three years at said school, I began to see Mrs. B. frazzled by administrators who were threatening to write her up because she did not have the “right” process charts displayed in her classroom and/or she was not allowing her students who happened to be beginner ELLs read independently. The irony is that the libraries which we had received were not adequately supplied with any books for her kids. She found books for her kids. When Mrs. B. is walking down the hallway with her calss, it immediately created this image of a mother hen with all her chicks following behind. Even back then there was noise that Mrs. B., a Teacher’s College graduate, should look into retirement. She is tiny but feisty. Mrs. B. did not back down at all. She and I would do our process charts together, organize the libraries, co-write lessons, and fix our bulletin boards in a similiar manner. We became one team. There was no way that this lil’ lady was going to leave us. We, the kids and the teachers, needed her spirit, compassion, sassiness, heart, and endurance to accomplish our tasks. She continues to be that inspiration and role model for me even though we are apart. I can only hope to be half the teacher she is one day.

Love you Mrs. B. Thank you for fighting for our kids.

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pissedoffteacher September 25, 2007 at 9:34 pm

She sounds great!

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angelamichelle September 26, 2007 at 9:40 am

*applause* for both your acknowledgment of a great educator and for the great educator herself.

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pissedoffteacher September 26, 2007 at 8:15 pm

This is my kind of font! Thanks!

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Jose September 26, 2007 at 8:26 pm

@ luzmaria: heartwarming story, and when I release this story, i’ll be sure to let her know you said this.

@ pissedoffteacher: that’s cause she is …

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Henry Funes September 27, 2007 at 5:18 pm

I really do hope she survives these thugs now in power.
Great teachers are being targeted, the threat of a good example.
Bad teachers that suck up to adminstration are either being allowed to fly below rader
or promoted.

As I said to that skunk John Stossel–Bad teachers exist because Bad adminstrators let them exist and good teachers exist despite bad adminstrators.

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