It's no wonder there is crying, frustration, anger exhibited in my classroom on a daily basis. I have no idea what it is like to grow up in my student's shoes. I grew up in a small town, with some diversity, and I had a fortunate upbringing. My parents are still together, and I always had food to eat.
My school is 83% free or reduced lunch, which is quite a lot. There are slightly more African-American students than white, with Hispanic students in a smaller, but not insignificant piece of the pie. We have not made AYP for several years, and I think we will squeak by this year.
My job is HARD. There are days I come home wondering if I am up to it. I really have to remember each and every day that my students are not taught how to behave at home. They are lucky if they are given consequences for bad behavior. They are taught one thing at home, and have to learn a whole 'nother set of rules at school. Compartmentalizing can be really hard for adults, let alone kids! Sometimes I feel like I spend ALL day reteaching behavior instead of teaching.
I'm proud of my students though. They have shown growth in the face of often hostile adversity. There are several students in my class that come from comfortable homes that have been rocks of maturity and kindess, and my whole class has benefitted. I had a student who would throw fits and fall asleep every day in the afternoon who had grown about 5 F&P reading levels this year. I have students who passed their state assessment that I never dreamed would do it at the beginning of the year.
Sure, my job is hard (what teacher's isnt?) But I love this time of year because I can now see how far they come and even feel a teeeensy bit sad about them moving on :)
And there's only 15.5 days left, but who's counting??