I'm not quitting my job, not this year at least. If I had it to do over again, I would probably have chosen a different path, perhaps one that involved teaching in a sane school district, but I'm here now so I should make the best of it, even when it sucks, which is often. There are moments when I wonder how I can possibly make this work, like when I had to call security to haul out the bully who decided to threaten one of the special education students or when I deal with one particular kid in my homeroom who has decided he hates my guts and is going to tell me so loudly, repeatedly, and in the most disrespectful manner possible in class every day. There are the days when I wonder why I'm part of this, like when we had staff development and some of my colleagues started yelling at the workshop leader about how he could not possibly have anything valuable to offer because he didn't grow up a poor, black child in the Delta. Then the principal joined in and started ranting about a documentary he considers to be a "KIPP propaganda film" and things just went downhill from there.
Then, of course, I learned that one of my favorite kids made a 12 on the ACT last month. One of my most diligent students asked me at the end of class one day what one could do besides teach if one decided to study anatomy in college, and I now have a swarm of seniors asking me for advice on applying to college. I met the enchanting toddler daughter of one of my seniors, and I couldn't imagine walking out on her father and his classmates. I'm still not good at this, but I'm needed here nonetheless.