The best part of the school day for me is walking into my empty classroom. If the class that has just been released was rowdy and overwhelming, it’s so calming to hear nothing but the quiet hum of my 1990′s computer.
It’s midterm week and I’m not following the exam schedule. And my principal knows it. And the assistant principal knows it. How do they all know? Because my classes don’t know how to stop talking. Since I am not teaching new material, they have no reason to be quiet and focus their attention on me. Now their attention is on getting the answer for the study guide any way possible. “By any means necessary.” They are also focused on hot chips, those cinnamon bun/ honey buns things, soda, juice, and any other high fructose corn syrup packed trash that my students buy from places like “Save-a-lot” or the corner store.
I’m having a hard time dealing with my student’s ability. I know that my expectations are high for them and that they recognize that. They tell me everyday how in my class we work too much, read too much, write too much, think too much. That shows me that I am pushing them to become better readers, writers, and thinkers. They need to be pushed more instead of the answers being handed to them.
But I’m tired. I’m tired of them giving up on themselves. They are constantly telling me that they are dumb, that they don’t know how to answer simple questions, that they can’t write a full paragraph. I’m teaching Juniors and Seniors so they have no time left. After this, there is no hope for them.
I want to empower them to want more. I want to empower them to think harder and achieve more than they ever thought about achieving.
But it’s hard. And I am tired. But don’t think I am giving up. Because it is only October and only my feet are in the water.