Monday, September 3, 2007

New School Year, New School

After 14 years teaching German and a variety of other subjects at Southern Durham High School, I begin a new school year plying my trade at a new high school, Enloe High School, in Raleigh. I started last week, earlier than intended, and what an eye opener it has been. You must understand: I have only taught at one school, Southern High, and that was my yardstick of what a modern urban high-school was like. How they are run, how the students behave, the curriculum, athletics, and everything else, all these attributes of Southern's peculiar culture and evolution informed my view of high-school. So anything other than Southern was doomed to the inevitable comparisons.

Now I'll try to avoid the comparisons and say this: my years at Southern have been a rewarding and challenging experience of ups and downs and successes and frustrations, but on the whole, I made an impact there, and the school has made an impact on my psyche as well. I'll miss my colleagues in the Foreign Language Department, all of them, and the other teachers as well. I found them all to be a mostly caring and professional faculty, and I was honored to be a part of it all those crazy years. Southern had that reputation, but I ignored it mostly, and focused on how to keep the kids focused on higher learning. Difficult task at a school struggling with a history of low achievement and rising ruffian visibility. The kids there, despite their generally socially obtuse collective demeanor, are a deserving lot who need talented teachers just like any other group of teenagers in the Triangle's public high-schools. So Best Wishes, Southern High School! I'll see you at graduation.

My position at Enloe entails a day-long spell of teaching only German, and that I find thrilling and rewarding. No more Computer Programming, which had become at Southern a bit of a drag on me, for various reasons. Teaching at Enloe is really a dream gig for me, and I am going to run with it. The kids at Enloe seem eager and polite and positive, characters and individuals with a sense of humor and a sense of what a school's mission is. I am stoked about it. Go Eagles! Go Spartans! See ya!

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