One had the nerve to ask why I was disappointed. How could I say anything but the truth?
I am disappointed these students did not take the opportunity of the education given to them. I am disappointed the students never saw a point in trying. I am disappointed these students do not appreciate the hard work of everyone at this school. I am disappointed these students feel like they are owed something even though they haven’t worked for it. I am disappointed so many are failing. I am disappointed in the way they treat each other, me, our facility, and the rest of the staff/faculty. I am disappointed in their lack of respect. I am disappointed I ran out of patience. I am disappointed that they aren’t disappointed in themselves and they really think they can’t do better. I am disappointed that they take advantage of my kindness. I am disappointed they have already given up. I am disappointed they are wasting their own time and mine.
I asked him if I should bother to continue.
I am not angry. I do not hate the students or even blame them. It is not their fault. I do believe it is from years of neglect, poor circumstances, and low expectations that made these students what they are. It is how they learned to survive. But I refuse to lower my expectations. I refuse to believe they are dumb or helpless or incapable and, until now, I refused to give up.
I spent the last few months in a very bad place and one of the reason was because I felt like a failure at my job. I felt I had not lived up to expectations and that I had failed or let down my students. I felt like I was a bad teacher. Today I realized they are the ones that let me down.
When class began we agreed on a routine, goals, and expectations. I held up my end. I worked hard, harder than most of the students have. I worked during evenings and weekends and over breaks. I gave options and redemption. I had conferences, altered assignments, and made exceptions. But now I realize what I thought was help, was really just self abuse. These students have walked all over me and I let them.
If I did fail, it is because I enabled them. I allowed them to believe they are entering a world that would take their personal needs into consideration. That is a lie and a disservice.
I have worked hard in the field of education to achieve my Level III, to earn my MA, to have the experience and education to be damn good
at what I do.
There are so few days left and I feel if I can just make it to summer I can rest and repair. Get my head right, get organized, reevaluate. I keep saying I will not decide until July whether or not I stay in the teaching profession, but every day I feel like walking out by lunch. I have been offered an ideal schedule next year, but if I am going to feel this way by next May, I don’t think it will be worth it.
I guess I was too hopeful. I guess I expected too much. I am tired of trying to convince students that it is important to have an education. I am tired of working harder for their education than they are.