Indulgent Rant re: Pitfalls of Teaching
Sadly, I am three inches away from despair in my teaching. This week after Thanksgiving has been nothing but insanity, indignity and insolence. In three days I have had the following:
--One student coming to class with a black eye and scabs on the side of her head where her mother kicked her. Yeah, this happened so close to Thanksgiving that the student wasn’t allowed to go to the Thanksgiving dinner because the bruise was so bad. I had to fumble with four different people before I knew what I was required to do in this case to appease the whole Mandatory reporter scene.
--My finger slammed in the drawer of my front desk by an unwitting student. (I’ve started rewarding hard workers by letting them sit at the teacher’s desk while finishing an assignment.) And it still stings right under my fingernail.
--I had to break up a hand lotion and milk fight, sacrificing my clean slacks in the bargain.
--One of my students was moved to another class because his anger issues distracted from his performance in my class…and the student cajoled the A.P. into thinking it was my teaching, and not his flipping desks that led to his academic misfortune. Apparently, he also told the A.P. that I assaulted him and he needed to go to the hospital for the broken ribs. (Yup, in front of God and everyone.)
When my assistant principal stopped by the room to break the removal to me the following last words on the subject were said on both our sides in front of the A.P:
Ms. C: “Eric, I hope you do well. Good Luck!”
Student: “Fuck you.”
--I had a student light up a cigarette in my classroom yesterday, right in front of the class and myself. Since that student’s mother yelled at the A.P. he did not get suspended and spent all of today gloating that he’s allowed to smoke in class.
--My file cabinet got broken into and a mass of candy stolen.
It’s driving me crazy…and I know my kids are acting out because of Thanksgiving break, but it’s been impossible to teach them anything and I’m frustrated and getting slightly snarky with some of them. (Which I don’t want.) I’m know that I am being pretty self-centered right now, that I should be more worried about the broken homes my students hail from, and that being the reason for their actions…But this week I feel like I’m losing my mind.