Sometimes I feel that I’m the one taking care of parents’ kids. I currently work in an inner city school and students pass through my door who haven’t eaten in three days, who aren’t getting correct attention, and who constantly need refuge from stuff at home by listening to headphones and or music in class. Sometimes I look at the lesson plan in my hand and feel stupid for even thinking that I could discuss Harper Lee. We’re so far away from each other , the kids and I. I, feel I gotta go along with the curriculum, follow straight through with plans, expect homework everyday, inspect kids desks for electronics that aren’t supposed to be there. But every day’s a fight. “Put away your headphones,”, or “Why are you cursing in class? This is English. Come on, you know better,” and “Please. Go back to your class Deone. No you may not keep disturbing mine to borrow one of my student’s headphones.” I feel like I have to take Psychology 101, and I have run into the school psychologist’s office begging for therapy. Sometimes, I just don’t know. I have to back up a few steps sometimes and say “What is the issue here…what do I really HAVE to teach them? Manners? Correct language? Respect?”. I start to feel like I’m the parent in the room, but then I look around and I see a chalkboard that needs to be erased, and a desk that needs to be cleaned up, books that we haven’t gotten through, and I feel behind. Am I supposed to be the babysitter? Or am I supposed to be the teacher? How do I know when one starts and where the other stops. You hear from other teachers what THEY do and then you think, will this work for me? Am I that type? Is that who I am with my students? Because some teachers have the rule of force method, which works for them, but I’m more docile and ugh often yielding when my kids bar up their arms to something they don’t want to do. I gotta figure out a way to develop the skills in raising my student’s with classroom manners side by side with going through with the lessons for which I planned. Someone comment!
Robert Pirsig on Zen and the Art of Motorcycle… Mr WordPress on John Updike