Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I have been reflecting a lot on my students in the last couple of weeks. I have a student whose parents are fighting really badly and have been all year. She has been a mess the last couple of weeks. I feel so sorry for her. I have another student whose single mother JUST moved them to another city and wants to pull him for the last 14 days. She is keeping the kids updated on her every mood swing, and it is taking its toll on this student's behavior. He never knows if TODAY is the last day. And yet another student has a father who just ended up booked into jail and on the front page of the paper. Meanwhile, her mother and father, who are divorced, are in a war of words with the kids in the middle about what REALLY happened.

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??

1 comment:

  1. This is a bittersweet time of year. I'm sooooo excited for summer vacation, but I've also gotten so attached that I don't want to let my babies go.