teaching

I came home in tears today. Another bad day of school.

I’ve tried to keep myself form blogging about my time teaching with Teach for America for several reasons. First, some of my students were reading my blog. Second, some teachers (or former teachers) might be reading my blog. And finally, I felt that if I blogged about teaching, I would simply devolve into a realm of self-pity that I simply couldn’t allow.

But today, it’s time a do a little public venting. For some reason, talking to my husband, calling my mom in Georgia, and looking to other teachers for support can’t do the trick today. I am outraged at things going on right in front of me. I am losing hope for the future of our youth. I want to quit my job.

I am outraged at things going on right in front of me. Students whose parents are drug addicts, and so they get shuffled from Mom to Dad to Uncle and back to Mom again. Students who are absent more than 1/2 the week because they are in ISS or OSS, and then get angry when I tell them that they can’t participate in a group project. Students who forget what they need for class every single day. Students who yell at me. Students who mock me. Students who say “I’m going to knock that teacher on her ass.” Students who write “Mrs. Gibson is gay, f* Mrs. Gibson” on the bathroom stall. Teachers and administrators allowing this to happen. And I am a culprit.

I am losing hope for the future of our youth. I try my hardest every single day, and I feel like it is being wasted. 7th grade students who don’t know how to read, living in a system that can’t help them. I can’t help them. R, K, A, F, B, R, C, H, K, D. These are the initials of just the students that I can think of off the top of my head that need serious help just reading on a basic level. Seeing kids bully one another. Watching one particular kid bully MANY kids, and nothing happening about it. He can’t be sent to alternative school. His parents won’t come to the school for a parent conference. Why doesn’t anything happen to change this? I am a teacher! Why can’t I figure out a way to change this?

I want to quit my job. The problems are so overwhelming. I know what people will say. “I’m sorry you had such a bad day,” or “You need to figure out how to compartmentalize,” or “You’re just one person, it’s not your job to fix all of this.” And all of that is 100% true. But whose job is it? How can I compartmentalize without simply turning numb? How can I move forward, knowing that even if tomorrow is better, these bad days are still lurking?

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Author: Claire

Hi I'm Claire. I am a freelance writer, Vizlsa lover, and avid runner who lives in Nashville, TN. Nice to meet you.

4 thoughts

  1. "break my heart with what breaks Yours"….you have been given the privilege to see the plight of the culturally impoverished…don't lose hope…pray for strength and praise HIM for the mercy and grace He has poured out on you and in you. Like Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:15, "I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well." It is hard to keep a perspective of being on a mission field in the classroom. God promises to refill us as we are "poured out like a drink offering" on behalf of those He has called us to serve. Your deeds, hard work and perseverance do NOT go unnoticed by God…those who persevere are blessed and get to see what the Lord will bring about-He is full of compassion and mercy. (James 5:11) Hangeth thou in there!!! Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. I am SO PROUD of you. So FEW care so deeply…so MANY are numb and simply pick up a paycheck…do the work to stay passionate-even if you are occasionally peeved. And rejoice in the little victories!

  2. Claire, I think it's so good for you to vent and get this off your chest. I can't begin to imagine the seemingly impossible task that you are facing every day. Just want you to know that I am saying a little prayer for you and for those students of yours. And even though you don't hear it from your students, I am thankful that they have the blessing of a teacher like you who actually cares enough to get angry.

  3. Claire,I can't begin to tell you how sad I feel about your predicament. Having to be not only teacher, but parent as well. I shudder to think of what would become of these students if they didn't have a patient, caring teacher such as you to provide a glimmer of hope in their lives.Gretchen Erwin

  4. I'm so sorry to hear that you're having such a rough year – hang in there! Draw support from your fellow teachers and talk to your principal – he was my principal for 8 years and I know he will listen. From what I saw last year, you are an amazing teacher with many talents. Think about all the good kids in your classes who depend on you – try to be there for them. –Kim Kmiec

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