--The worst language I’ve heard anywhere.
--Constant drug use INSIDE the school.
--Assault. And how powerless I feel when the administration backs up the students and not me.
--Plummeting academic expectations due to a rude shock of what my student’s reading level was. (I was naïve, but I was planning to teach Othello to my 9th grade class. The ones who CAN read are limited to Goosebumps books.)
--Gross amounts of apathy-from students, from counselors, from administration…and worst of all, from teachers.
--The just plain gross: I spent fifteen minutes today scrubbing a full container of dried yogurt off my wall. (It was raspberry.)
But the absolute low-point (so far) was tonight’s parent teacher conferences. I was prepared for the worst: angry parents, parents disgusted with students failing grades, the degrading looks as they saw their child’s young and white teacher. Yeah, I was expecting to be cursed out, or at the very least to have to defend my standing on how their student was progressing in my class.
I didn’t expect an empty classroom.
From 5:30PM until 8PM I sat at my desk with only the hum of the heating system to keep me company. Not one of my thirteen students had a parent show up. Not after all my calling, my cajoling, my coaxing and mailed letters home.
I returned home stunned, hollow, and a lot more wise about why my emotionally disturbed students may have such intense behavior issues.
Some of my colleges blamed the rain when I asked them why the turn out was so small. (11 parents all together) But I can’t stop the despairing, and perhaps naïve, question that blares in my head:
Why does no one love my kids?