Monday, December 13, 2010

THAT student...part 2

The idea that teachers shouldn't have favorites in their students is a valid one - but we're all human so, every once in a while you find students that you wish you could clone. The student I'm talking about, no one wants to clone, but I still like him. For whatever reason, he's the kid that comes into my class and everyday, I can't help but want to do everything I can for him.

He's naughty a lot of other places and for other teachers. He's naughty in the hall and gets into trouble a lot...but I can't help it. He's works for me, he really likes to read and he's patient in my room. His home life is tough...and there are some days I wish I could just bring him home with me.

This year during conferences, I watched as he looked at the different kinds of books on the table at the book fair. He didn't say anything, but he looked particularly at one book and a couple of things that if he had had the money, he would've gotten. Earlier in the day I had decided to choose one student from each block of students I have and get them something from the book fair...I chose him as one of these students.

I know that this generation of students sometimes feel the need to be entitled. They believe that they are entitled to certain things because of who they are. He doesn't seem to feel this way. There were two kids that I was able to get things for that were so appreciative it almost made me cry...he was one. The smile on his face was so big! He carried that book with him for the rest of the short week and then made sure I knew that he had read it by retelling me practically every part of the book.

These are the kids I work so hard for...these are the kids that make it worth it to come to school...these are the kids that I would gladly do anything for - accommodate them, help them and work with them. THAT student is one that makes it all worth it.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Us against Them...

It seems for a while it's been a game of us against them. Them are a lot of things; administration, parents, curriculum, the district....lately, it's the kids. Don't get me wrong, it's always been kind of that way, but this year is different. This year some students have decided that this is a serious game. Before, perhaps, it was about the amount of homework we were giving them or maybe they didn't think they were treated fairly....etc.

This year, I was told, is the highest for claims against teachers of abuse. This year is also the highest of students being violent toward staff. This issue is troubling to me. Troubling because I'm wondering what's perpetrating this. I'm thoughtful as well.

When did students decide it was ok to take out their aggression out on us? We ask them to follow certain rules to keep them safe...we ask them to be polite and respectful...we ask them to make sure they keep themselves, if they don't want to do this - it's suddenly ok for them to lash out at us?

In the news of my area a teacher was repeatedly assaulted when he saw a group of students in an area they weren't supposed to be in and asked them to leave. The student repeatedly used profanity and when the teacher turned his head - the student hit him...then came back for a second round. When the police arrested the kid - his response was that he was having a bad day. I'm floored by this comment. You're having a bad day, so you assault an adult who was asking you to follow the rules?

The other thing that really surprised me? The teacher's response..."Everyone has a bad day, if you let something like this get to're in the wrong profession." His response is one that is full of forgiveness and grace.

What we have to deal with as teachers is sometimes seemingly impossible. But this teacher's response is why I still believe our profession is a good one. The people that can remain strong even after someone has literally tried to beat them down is one of determination and dedication and I applaud him.