The one thing I was told to do during my time as a teacher was to keep writing about the experience.  And I haven’t been able to keep that up.  Why can I not take such simple advice? 

Well, to be fair I have been busy, but that’s no excuse.  I’ve still managed to get through the last two seasons of Heroes over the weekends, and Saturday has indeed once again become my “Do-Nothing Day” in an attempt to regain those preciouse “old days” that I remember so dearly right about now.

When I first got to my school I knew I was lucky.  I am in a brand new facility.  I am a part of a very small school, with small classes, smaller classes, and a small and very close, and very supportive faculty. 

By all accounts I won the jackpot of Teach for America placements.  And the students at the beginning of the year seemed to generally understand the basics.  I thought to myself, “this won’t be bad at all.” 

And then I started grading their homework.  And the deficiencies these students have when it comes to putting down what they understand so well verbally in class is apalling. 

Some don’t know what a noun is.  Some don’t know what a verb is.  Some don’t care.  Some don’t write in defiance.  And those who don’t still claim they want to go to college.  But they think high school is nothing like college, and definitely won’t prepare them for the real world.

And I wonder.  If they knew what I knew, would they still think that way?

The students are so much more advanced than I was at their age.   They know so much more.  They live in a city where so much more happens that in the suburbs of a midsized north Florida town.  They have to deal with so much including being economically impoverished, subjects of a terrible education system, and still the hope of some parents who expect them to work, do well in school, and be the first student in their family to go to college.

And all of those expectations I somehow find on me. 

How?

When did I become so empathetic?

 

Regardless, I am enjoying teaching so much.  The goal everyday is to walk into the classroom and have fun.  I’m the one who is supposed to have fun.  And I do.  I do not expect the students to have fun.  I do not expect us to have fun together.  But I expect to have fun, and I think some of the students notice my enthusiasm and attitude.  Some do and just don’t like it.  Some notice and are skeptical.  Others don’t even notice, and those are the students I still haven’t notices three weeks in.

Those are the students I am most concerned about.  Those are the students I feel I’m already failing.

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