When I taught high school at the inner-city school, the mother of a former student would take photos for me for the yearbook. We created quite a bond, so much so, that after I left teaching, Delores and I remained friends. We enjoy one another’s company and we love to take pictures together. We occasionally do photo walks, attempting to discover off-the beaten-path places. Yesterday we had such a meet up, and in all places, the inner-city school where we first met. Definitely not off-the-beaten-path.
The inner-city high school has been undergoing major reconstruction for the past year. Two new gorgeous buildings have been built to replace two very ugly buildings from the 1970s. The new buildings will complement the old structure originally built in 1923 and now a historical landmark. The old ones did nothing to enhance the beauty of the old building but rather hid some of its majesty. You can get a feel of the new buildings here at the district’s flickr site:
Delores and I were able to wrangle our way into the new buildings as some of the teachers were there working on their classrooms. The builders are still there working, as you can see in these photos of the Senate Chambers. The Senate is the oldest school club west of the Mississippi, and perhaps in America now. It dates back to the 1890s. Girls were only allowed to join in the late 1970s. It will now have this beautiful room in which to hold its meetings. Many of Fresno’s most prominent citizens were members of this club when they were in high school.
The administration offices are on the ground floor of the south building:
The classrooms are upstairs in both buildings:
Notice the large windows? All the light? That is not what we have in the old classrooms that were constructed in the 1970s. Those classrooms are still there. Most of the classrooms in the two old buildings have NO WINDOWS at all. I foresee some major jealousy with those teachers in the old rooms. I know I would sure be envious of the teachers who got to move into the beautiful new rooms with all kinds of technology, light, and storage.
I chatted with the principal for awhile yesterday and he suggested I come back to teaching as he thinks things are changing for the better in education and going back to more the way I taught. Hah. Not happening. Although I could figure out no reason, I got extremely ill when I left the campus. I truly believe it was my body screaming, “don’t make me go back there.” It will be a beautiful campus, but there is so much more to teaching than beautiful buildings and facilities. I’m loving my life now too much to return to what was a very stress-filled life where I worked so hard each day. Just as those old buildings are gone, my old life is also.