Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Friday, December 10, 2010

I Need an Attitude Adjustment

Most of my readers know that I am a high school teacher and have been for over 20 years.  I am looking forward to the day I can retire....and head to Walmart to stand at their front door and greet people saying, "Welcome to Walmart!"  On that day there will be no more tests to make out, no papers to grade, no parents calling me at all hours of the day and night wanting to know why little Johnny or Suzie has a B in my class.  Yes....I am so looking forward to that day.  But....reality checks bounce occassionally and I am here for another four the meantime I must finish this work I began a long time ago.  Herein lies my dilemma.  We are on a block schedule system.  We have 5 blocks a day.  I have first period planning....which for a morning person is not the best scenario.  I truly love to hit the ground running....and having planning first off...kind of brings me to a screaching halt before I ever get started.  My first three classes are Spanish II classes and they are awesome.  I have a great rapport with these students. They are not perfect....but the chemistry between us is good.  These are the kids that make me glad I am a teacher.....and then....fifth period arrives.  This class is the class that makes me want to haste.  Don't get me wrong...the whole class is not bad...there are just a few that ruin my whole day for me.  Why do I let them do this?  I am a veteran teacher and know better....but they do.  This class is a Spanish I class, has 30 students in it, has a student with Turrets Syndrome in it...(but he is not my problem....he and I get along famously)....has a student who is deaf in one ear and can't hear out of the other...has hearing aides, but won't wear them.....has a student who cut my class 18 days the first nine weeks and now complains because he does not understand (well duh....if he'd been here...he might be understanding a bit better)....has three on Riddelin (two trying to come off), has several athletes (one of which could care less about the class.....he sleeps everyday....or is tardy), and has one who is the attitude king...but does not look like he should be.  Between one student bursting out into inappropriate song (Viva Viagra), a small group discussing their alcohol consumption (they are all minors), and comments just being thrown out into class....I am at my wits end.  I have sent countless emails to parents, had multiple parent conferences, have a behavior rap sheet that is now over 5 pages....and believe me...I could pull my hair out over this.  For the first time in the 20+ years I have taught I am sending letters home to the parents telling them that I am NOT recommending their students for Spanish II.  The parents can override my decision....but with the understanding that it was their choice.  Never....and I mean Never...have I had a group like this.  The rest of the class is very pleasant....and I truly feel sorry for them that the few can ruin their learning process.  I have another full week with this class...and then four days after Christmas break....I am just hoping to survive.  My attitude needs adjusting for sure.  I am frustrated, irritated, aggravated, and just plain mad that I have let this group get under my skin like they have....the countdown to retirement has definitely begun....I am not sure I can take many more classes like this one....sigh!  You know....when I was in school (eons ago)....if I got in trouble at school....I got in more trouble at home....but those days are long gone. does not matter what a child is someone else's (preferably the teacher) fault.  Students are not held accountable for anything for the most part...and there are no consequences for wrong actions....what have we done?  My momma whipped me(with whatever she could get her hands on)...when I was bad...I knew that was the consequence....but they don't have them today.  We are doing these kids a disservice....what is going to happen to them when they enter life...and there are no do-overs, or after school detentions?  When you say your prayers tonight....pray for the youth of America, pray for the parents of America, pray for the teachers of America, and put in a special one for me that I will survive this year!  Thank God it is Friday!


Tina said...

I hear you! What is it about that class of the day? My first year of teaching was the only one (so far) that has been good.

You hit a chord with the talk of alcohol consumption (mine also talk about drugs and fights). This year, my last class is small (10 students total) but there is one that none of the others like. Since we have a no bullying policy, I have had to document more than one time, what they have said to the boy. (Did I mention they are all boys?)

Hang in there! It's just one class and, as you said, they aren't all bad!

Mary said...

The bad thing is that those kids have probably always gotten away with their attitudes. The parents blame the school (it's not their fault after all, is it? ha.) for messing up their kids. Blame the government...they're the ones coming up with all of the parental rights. Parental responsibility has been taken away, and all of the responsibility is on the schools. I'll get off of my soap box now.

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Thinking of you today -- good luck with your open house --- thanks for all your visits this week.