Don’t push me cause I’m close to the edge…

fullThe kids got a taste of Ms. G’s dark side today.

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.

0847463ddc62eca79dbca47fc403ffacWhen 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.funny-angry-teacher-tshirt-class

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.

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6 thoughts on “Don’t push me cause I’m close to the edge…”

  1. We don’t know each other personally, but I follow your blog and I very much admire your way with words. I’m so sorry it’s been such a tough year for you. I truly admire people who can make a living teaching, particularly in this day and age with the number of entitled, spoiled students out there. I think your students are morons if they don’t appreciate the teacher they have in you. Having had a teacher like you in my senior year, I truly appreciated what she did. Whatever path you choose in your future, I have no doubt you will continue to do it as well as you have taught and been a poet. Hang in there. Summer vacation is just around the corner.

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  2. In my experience, I didn’t appreciate what some of my teachers said or did until many years later. I think you’ll find students looking you up years from now to thank you for motivating them, even if you haven’t seen that change yet. Part of teaching is having the patience of the biblical Job.

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  3. all fair and valid points, sometimes, you just have to bluntly lay out, like more than a few people – teachers, parents, friends, family members, had to do for me, that life is in no way “fair” and the world at large generally doesn’t owe you, or anyone else, shit. it’s YOUR job to play the best game you can with the cards you’ve been dealt and, more often than not, the hand you’re dealt will be shit and you’re not going to be able to bluff your way through it. sadly, it’s not just your students, or just high school students in general – my daughter is a college student in Clinton,SC and Jamie and I seemed to have done a halfway decent job of setting an example and showing her the value of a good work ethic. by and large, her most repeated complaint, is that she feels that she and the program were being held back by her classmates who could never seem to meet deadlines. cannot tell you how often i heard: don’t these people know that if/when you have a job, if you constantly miss deadlines, your boss will fire your ass??? apparently not…i’m not saying to be totally unyielding, but we both know that, in the working world, you have to be going through a near act of god/labor of hercules/stuff of legend type crisis just for most supervisors to even consider giving you an extension on a deadline. so, just lay it out for them at the beginning with the other rules – i believe that you guys are smart, intelligent, and capable people, regardless of what others may have told you. i believe in you and your ability to get things done. that being said, while i will work with every one of you to be successful in every way that i can, if you are not going to work just as hard as i am for you to be successful, for yourselves more than anyone else and most of all, then i will also be the person who gives you enough rope to hang yourself with and let’s you do it. i’m not saying that i won’t listen and work with you if you’re having troubles, because i will, now and always. but, if i see that you’re taking advantage of my generosity and just blowing me off, then i will take it that YOU HAVE MADE THE DECISION NOT TO CARE – not to care about yourself, not to care about your work, and not to care about yourself. and, if that is the case, then i too will exercise my right to not care. i’m not saying it’s going to be easy, because it’s not. nothing in life ever worth having, or doing, is ever truly easy. if it’s really worth having, or doing, then it’s wort putting your everything and your all in to getting it and doing it. what i’m willing to offer and promise is this – if you’re willing put everything you’ve got, give your all, do the work, and go “all in” on yourselves, then so am i. if you’re willing to meet me halfway and honestly give me your best shot because you want to succeed, then i’m willing to meet you halfway and give you my best shot, BECAUSE I WANT YOU TO SUCCEED…fuck it, i’m going to go start writing dramatic speeches for poorly scripted, hollywood white night blockbusters…fuck this working for a living shit…i love you Kat

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    1. should have been: but, if i see that you’re taking advantage of my generosity and just blowing me off, then i will take it that YOU HAVE MADE THE DECISION NOT TO CARE – not to care about yourself, not to care about your work, and not to care about your own success.

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  4. I don’t have a teacher’s perspective and my time is school was long ago but I do feel for you and your frustration in this situation. I have no words that will magically make it all better of course. Just thoughts that I truly hope that you can adjust and be fulfilled in your endeavors (whatever your end choice is).

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  5. As a fellow teacher I have been in the same mind frame as you several times per year, per semester, per month, per week. I considered walking away from the profession and nearly did. I was lucky enough to find an environment that better fit me and love teaching now.

    It is one of the hardest and most under appreciated professions out there. I am glad you have forum to air your frustrations and I enjoy reading your blog. If I could offer some unsolicited advice I would encourage you to focus on the things you have the ability to change. Sometimes I feel as though teachers will always have the deck stacked against them. Find the things you have the power to change – whether it be your perspective, your style of teaching, some routine – and focus on that. Sometimes forcing myself to hone in on my small successes helped me overcome the bigger frustrations.

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