So, I know I am not writing something new here...
but when you hear your daughter on her first day back to teaching a new year sound so upset on the phone, and so unsure of her profession, it just makes me very sad. I'm sad for her - but I'm sad for what so many of the students in high school do - and don't know.
What do they do? They talk.... and talk and talk. When they are supposed to listen they talk - in the classroom. All the time. They act uninterested in learning - in anything. They don't seem to care. Even on the first day.
What they don't do? They don't give respect to their teacher. They don't realize the importance of learning and in doing well in school. They don't learn at home about being a good person.
What has happened in our schools? I mean, I know there have always been "problem kids" but I personally don't remember ever being in a classroom where the majority of the students were disruptive (and yes, it's been decades since I have been there.) It seems so many of them today are diagnosed with medical issues now. With anxiety, with depression. HDLD and other behavioral problems. Students get up and walk around during class. And they talk non-stop. But, oh, they have issues.... ??? Students are not fearful of what can happen with bad behavior, and they are not taught good manners at home.
Aretha sang R-E-S-P-E-C-T ! I think we need to teach it again!
But, according to my daughter by the time she gets these kids in her class in 9th grade it's too late. Somewhere, before they walk into her classroom they have been let down, or moved on when they shouldn't have been, or ignored (they can't read), or never taught responsibility. 9th grade!!
Like I said the sad state of education in America is nothing new. My daughter teaches in a public school in an urban area, a mixed area, so she has different kinds of students - different from those in a wealthy suburban community, or a rural town. Although I wonder... is it really different anymore? Are most students regardless of where they live being raised without learning respect, and manners, and self-control?
I hurt for my daughter. She loves "teaching" English Lit to students who actually do read, and who do their assignments, and she enjoys debates and healthy discussions. (Her AP class in the Spring is her "reward" for making it through the other classes - the only students who do what they are supposed to do.) My daughter is not a screamer, and she's not a mean-spirited person. She can not put up with day in and day out disruption and lack of respect from students.
And, what about administrations? Should the staff not be supporting teachers better - with advice, with empathy?? With a shoulder to lean on? Something??
I know my daughter is just getting into her new year - but she already dreads the weeks and months to come, just trying to have some semblence of a real learning environment. Like I said before, it makes me very sad... I'm not sure if she will stick with teaching for the long run. And, that's sad because I know she works hard, and is a great role model, a wonderful teacher, and caring person in the classroom.
I feel for my daughter tonight. I feel for all high school teachers. It's a tough job! They need to be supported!