edu180atl: jovan miles 8.4.11
I work for Atlanta Public Schools. This summer, I got to see the reputation of my district publicly maligned due to the unethical actions of a fraction of our workforce. Everyday for several weeks there was a new blog post, tweet, or televised news story about how poorly children in APS were being educated and how ALL of the teachers, administrators, and support personnel had been playing a shell game with achievement data for nearly a decade.
After being inundated with this type of coverage for so long I began to feel like a villain for even working in the Atlanta Public Schools. That association, according to the local and national news media, was like being associated with Enron. Even if you had done nothing wrong, your personal and professional reputation was still sullied.
I met two men who lived in the community where I work. I met a postal worker at a restaurant and later, a truck driver at the library.
The postal worker stopped me to ask how I felt about the media coverage and also told me how proud he was of teachers’ work.
The truck driver saw me working with a student. He explained to me that he was working to develop himself personally and professionally and asked for my help. I agreed. He thanked me for helping him and for the work I do in his community.
I learned how much of what I do extends beyond the classroom walls.