Thursday, January 19, 2017

1/19/17 (Distracting myself from thinking about the inauguration by worrying about other things instead)

Do y'all remember that horrible viral video that was going around a couple years ago where the school resource officer was called into a classroom to remove a stubborn student, and he ended up throwing her across the room? And afterward, how there were a bunch of people commenting about the girl's home life and criticizing the teacher for not being more aware of the girl's personal problems because if the dang teacher had just called home he would have known to handle the situation more sensitively and it all could have been avoided? Thinking about that today...
In just the past couple of weeks, I've had students uncharacteristically come into class, put their head down, and refuse to work. I've had students disappear from school for a few days with no explanation. I have a senior that I've begged to stay after school with me to bring up his grade, and he never shows. I have a student that I know is functionally illiterate and scared to death that his peers will figure it out, and I'm plagued by the fact that there is so little I can do. I have a student with 20+ absences and a baby at home who just got suspended for who knows what. I worry about every single one of them every single day. But I have 75 students.
As a teacher, there's a constant nagging worry that the time you choose to nurture your personal life or your family life rather than making sacrifices for your students - that's the time it will turn out that you've neglected a student who really needed you. There's this constant pressure as a teacher to save every single child who passes through your classroom. But you can't. You just can't.
The SRO behaved badly, the teacher didn't handle the situation exactly right, but's really complicated.

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