Friday, November 22, 2013

What is my motivation?

For those of you who are familiar with me or my blog , you know that I teach.  This year I am teaching reading to middle schoolers that are at least 2-4 years below grade level.  The behavior is horrible.  Most days I wonder why I even chose the teaching profession.  The students do not care to learn.. Or at least that is what I thought.  One of my co-workers asked the students why they were struggling?  Many said it was their home lives.  Many said that they were so far behind that they felt they could not catch up.  Others said that they wanted to just play because they play at home.  Other students expressed that their parent felt that they would never amount to anything or be anything other than a failure.  Or in other words, just like their mother or father.  After asking them what the issue was, the students came up with solutions on how they can do and be better.  They all came up with a plan.  That was admirable, but sadly today, the same behaviors ensued.

This interchange made me think. Those classes that have the most behavior issues have about twenty five students in them.  If they only had about 15 students it would make it easier to meet their needs.  Instead they are packed into a small classroom like sardines. All across the nation education budgets are being cut.  No one cares about these minority students and their academic progress because it requires money to help them.  These students don't have the social skills or communication skills to ask for help.  Many of them lash out because they are unable to express their emotions properly.  They are angry, hungry, and many of them have been mistreated.  Part of our student population is homeless.

As a teacher, I am unsure of how to solve their issues.  I am overworked, underpaid, disrespected by the media, students, parents, and administrative staff. I have contemplated finding another profession because teaching has become a dumping ground.  Every time I have a horrific day and apply for a new job, I think about the impact on my students and I decide to stay a little while longer.  These kids have had so many teachers walk out of their lives after about 3-4 weeks of teaching them.  I don't wish to be in that number.  Sadly, I sympathize with the plight of the teachers that left.  (The behavior is really, really, really bad.)  I often hear the following song playing in my head throughout the day.\

I don't know what I am going to do about my children here at the school, but I am gonna go home over the weekend and come up with a new game plan.....

The next time you want to malign a teacher's performance, you probably shouldn't.

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