Disclaimer: Some content is inappropriate for readers under 18 years of age or those offended by swear words, references to sexuality, atheism, and libertarianism.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Apprehensive


I'm feeling a little nervous about the approaching new school year... Normally I'm quite excited to get to know my new students and figure out new ways of meeting their unique needs and how things are going to go with yet another new administrator peering over my head (hence my choice in the above Dilbert cartoon by Scott Adams), but this year I'm nervous.
Having heard that my druggie kid for next year has told one of my students from the past year that he was going to "fuck" me, I'm dreading yet another year of dealing with that kind of crap over actual teaching. Every year, I get at least one drug dealer and one drug user. The drug users are just sad, pitiful kids who fail and fail or else have their habits somewhat under control and just glide through the year with barely passing grades. The dealers, on the other hand, are sneaky buggers who have figured out how to escape getting busted not just in their dealing, but their copying homework, tests, getting girls pregnant and denying responsibility, beating up other kids, whatever. They end up sapping all of my time and energy trying to keep them within a five mile radius of the "right track" and I end up neglecting the kids who actually have disabilities beyond just having shitty home lives. Sadly, at some point a teacher felt sorry for his having a shitty home life and subsequent failing grades that they convinced everyone that the kid must have a learning disability of some sort. I'd go so far as to say that in my experience, I've had more kids end up on my caseload due to bad parenting than any other reason. Parents who do drugs, thieve, kill, and rape don't tend to produce kids who do very well at school and it has little to do with the child's actual ability. The kids may very well have been born with average abilities, but years of abuse or neglect can actually lower a kids ability range into a special needs category. Preventable and sad.
Every year, I make the choice to work with kids who come from troubled backgrounds because I love them to bits, but I despair at the realization that I'm no longer a teacher, but more a parole officer and substitute mother and feel ill-equipped to help them with their insurmountable problems. How do you fight a beast like this?
I feel like a hospice worker. I make these kids comfortable for a little bit longer before they either drop out or graduate and the big bad world bites them in the ass because they've not learned the skills to be decent employees anywhere. This problem is enormous. It's huge. And I can't wait to see what ideas my next new boss comes up with to get these kids to pass the damn standardized test. I'm sure whatever it is, it'll work a treat.
The good news is that once I'm in it, I put my heart and soul into it and do everything I can to do right by "my" kids, but it doesn't stop my wondering what's going to become of some of them a few more years down the road.

10 comments:

Arabista said...

Ah the joys of teaching....my Mom's ateacher and comes back with horrow stories everytime I talk to her...that kinda put me off teaching- kids anyway

Anonymous said...

Hey atleast you know your a milf, thats got to atleast boast your self esteem about your looks! :P ok thats just an aweful comment lol.

TeacherLady said...

Arabista, I'm just in a negative mood right now. A lot of the job is what you make of it.. The effort you put in can make it a hell of a lot more pleasant a gig and vice versa... I'm just on a bit of a downer right now thinking specifically about the kid who has obviously made his sentiments and attitude known.
Anon, I know I'm hot because when I walk into the comic book store, all the guys turn and stare... Oh no wait, that DOESN'T confirm I'm hot, just that I have a pulse... Just kidding, comic book compadres! I love you guys and you get me hot.

'liya said...

The fact that you're already thinking about the school year says a lot about how much you care about them. Sometimes it's so hard to believe you're making any difference at all when working with students like that but you are - it's just hard to see. Other people will see it but you won't!

"it doesn't stop my wondering what's going to become of some of them a few more years down the road." I know eh.

Chris said...

What grade are you teaching? I think I somehow had the idea that you were teaching elementary grade students but from this post I'm guessing high school.

Every year, I make the choice to work with kids who come from troubled backgrounds because I love them to bits, but I despair at the realization that I'm no longer a teacher, but more a parole officer and substitute mother and feel ill-equipped to help them with their insurmountable problems.

Boy, you really seemed to have hit the nail on the head with the comparison to being more of a babysitter than educator. Is this an example of how truancy laws sometimes work against the system meaning that a student who has no desire to be there is forced to which takes away from the time and resources that you could be using to teach other students?

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

It seems like the summer holiday has only just begun, and you're already dreading next year? It's hard work being in the public school system in many parts of the US. My sister taught abroad for several years before returned to do her Masters in Ed Psychology. It hasn't been long, but she is burnt out from the job. So much of the job is about being a social worker...

calencoriel said...

At least you're coming back again TL and not leaving the ship like so many in my department. Take heart in the fact that you're still willing to hang in there with our kids and not try to find greener pastures elsewhere.

There's something to be said about loyalty...particularly in this day and age.

Oh, and anon, in our world, the correct term is TILF...and TL is the hottest one there is!

Anonymous said...

Ya that is true that she would be a tilf but at the same time though she is a mom and generally mom part overrules the teacher part.

humble simpleton said...

The children really should watch their language. Don't they know it's "making love"?

Anonymous said...

How can it be making love if all it is is just plain sex.