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?