Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Frustrations of A First Year Teacher

My students don't care. Literally.

Ok, it's not all of them--I do actually have a few bright, driven, hard-working, diligent kids in my classes. And I thank God every day that I do, otherwise this first year of teaching would be the beginning of the end.

Don't get me wrong, I love my job. I enjoy teaching the subject matter, and my colleagues kick ass. I'm just sick of the attitude of the majority of my students.

To prove my case with one example: Last Wednesday I gave my students the answer key to the quiz they would take Friday. On Friday, I left the posters that had the answers on them on the wall, uncovered.


Some passed and made good grades. But the MAJORITY, yes the MAJORITY, of my students made Cs and below. And THEN they asked me WHEN (not IF, but WHEN) they could RETAKE the quiz!!!


Gah. It's enough to truly and completely terrify me. THESE KIDS are the future of our country?!?

Ok, so I know this has been said about pretty much every generation to come up through the educational system, including my own. And I realize that there are some in every generation who could fit into the same mold as many of the kids I'm teaching now. That said, in my generation at least, the majority of us still did what we had to to get the job done, to make the grade. These kids do not take notes, do not study, do not ask questions, do not show up for tutoring, FAIL, and THEN ask for RETAKES!!!

Really, I know it's not as dire as it appears. Really, one of two things will happen to these kids. They will either grow up and learn that they have to be accountable for their actions the first time, OR the rest of us will be paying for them for the rest of our lives because we will be funding the welfare programs that they spend their entire lives on. It'll be one or the other.

As for me, I'll go on teaching, approaching my subject matter in as many ways as possible so that as many students as possible can understand, helping those who ask for it, and doing my part to educate these kids. Somehow, I'll have to hold up under the pressures to be everything for these kids from motivator to counselor to the source of motivation for their parents' involvement in their lives. All of which I'm supposed to do in the 50 mins a day the kids are in my classroom. Easy, right? Heh.

I know the cycle will continue. Eventually there will be a re-emphasis on individual accountability FOR THE STUDENTS and a move away from teachers being expected to be everything to these kids. So until then, I'll keep trying. And blogging here whenever I get too pissed off to hold it in anymore :-P.

P.S.> If I ever meet the teacher who put it in these kids' heads that they automatically get a retake when they fail something due to their lack of effort, I will HIT them over the head with a large STICK!!!


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