Friday, September 24, 2010


I'm in my third year at a charter school called the Indianapolis Metropolitan High School. I came here because I believe in the school's philosophy of relationship, relevance and rigor. It was a difficult start when I came but I wouldn't trade it for the world. Each day is an emotional roller coaster of dealing with student's family issues, campus drama, college applications, internships and more. A student can have a major success in one area and I get to celebrate with them and then a few minutes later have to grieve with a student experiencing a failure. My previous job prevented me from such relationships. My previous job defiantly wouldn't have approved with what went down today.
I love my job because my coadvisors and I are all fighting the same fight. We deeply care about all of our kids even when we can't stand to be around them. The advisory really is like a family; the good, the bad, the ugly. The campus can be a great source of community; a safe place where future focused students can succeed. Although I threw up in my mouth when my boss announced this week's Send Me Off on Monday, I can see what a positive impact it had on my advisor and our school community. (The charge was that my advisory had to pick a song for me to dance to for 30 seconds and compete against the other advisors.)
This afternoon my advisor spent over an hour working together trying to make me stand, act and dance like a gangsta. My biggest failure is that my pants do not slide low so I can sag (thank God) but I tried. We are through our first stretch of school which was extremely stressful so it was good today to just laugh. I started to get really nervous and embarrassed before I went up but my kids where there shouting for me. I went out there and did my thang and made a complete fool of myself.  When Send Me Off finally came, I loved seeing the Seniors laughing and celebrating as one.
This is the craziest job I could ever imagine having. Sometimes I wish it was easier and I could go back to my days of file-cabinet planning. But I love it... and even though I love my job, TGIF



Anonymous said...

I would pay good money to see you dance gangsta style. Tell me someone has a video or pictures on YouTube or Facebook.

Nancy said...

Dennis, that is AWESOME!!!!!! Lucas and Delainey loved the way you dance :O) I cracked up at your students laughing at you.....they are hilarious!

Cory Plough said...

Your first paragraph about the roller coaster of dealing with all the issues that make up a student's life really resonated with me. I also teach at a charter school, we have our kids on campus for one day/week while the rest of the days they are at home. That means I get to meet with about 500 kids face to face every week. Sometimes I know the kids are great and can just give them a pat on the back and say "keep up the good work in my course." Other times, I sit with someone for a half hour and they tell me about their lives. We laugh, and often its hard not to well up. I never got to do that when I taught at my other jobs.

On another note, I would be too shy do to what you did for that group of students and am glad our principal doesn't make us. lol. Great humility and courage!

Robert said...

(robert)It was great Ya should have seen it lol