I’m not a parent

I am frustrated. So here I am. As a teacher I am asked to be a parent. I just walked out of a meeting about grades (that kids have earned). Some being zeros for work I never received. And I am supposed to beg kids to do work, use my breaks to stand over them to get work done, ignore that their parents have ignored me when I’ve given more time and grace for work…and I am supposed to be a parent.

 

I am so tired. I have zero natural children. I’ve taught 6 years. So I have at least 200 kids out there that I have been asked to parent. I am frustrated with the system. I am frustrated that schools have received the burden of raising children. If your child fails, you blame the teacher. If your child misbehaves, what can the teacher do differently? If a child can’t read, pull him for groups, give him extra, and when he doesn’t do homework or practice, do more before school or after school or during the day to ensure that this child (you didn’t birth) succeeds.

 

And if you know me, you know my heart. I love kids. I want them to have the world. I just get saddened by the fact that “grades don’t matter to a 2nd grader” yet you ask me to give them and to change (or sub or reteach and reenter) them. If you just told me they don’t matter, you are telling me that I’m wasting my time and they are wasting their time. If a student fails to hand it work or to correct it or to do it – they FAIL. And they need to feel failure. Not because they are failures or because they deserve less than success…but because they need to feel the reality of RECEIVING what you’ve earned. Of REAPING what was sown.

What are we teaching our children? Our families? Our society? Treat teachers like dog @)#* and pay them enough to survive (barely) and give them three months “relax” and dread coming back, take courses as requirements, pass or fail tests to teach, and regroup and handle their dental medical spiritual and mental needs, and then WORK THEM til they die, or quit, or quit living.

 

I really can’t be a teacher that doesn’t have a life. I want to live. I want to teach. There has got to be a way that I can do both. If I wanted to be a parent, solely responsible for the academic success of a child I would give birth and then homeschool her. I need help- administration aint got it, colleagues aint got it (we do not have it!), policy makers aint got it. And Lord knows this country…even our world has not got it.

 

I promise I will be part of the solution. I vow to own every part I can own and when my ownership line ends, I will not reach or regret or retreat or feel bad that “this is not my child”. I love them. I would give for them. I will fight for them. But I cannot be depleted for them.

And now…since I have 2 minutes to eat lunch after an hour long meeting about them. And a 20 minute break from them…”here I go”. And if my observation is today…God Bless America.

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