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.

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