Sometimes, I wonder what’s happening and what will become of public schools. With all the rapid changes, underfunding, and stressed and dissatisfied teachers, it’s a wonder we still have people who sign up for this demanding job. I know parents value and even give the extra little flowers and gifts during thank-a-teacher-week, but if they only knew the battle teachers are up against daily….
After school yesterday, I had to say to a young teacher, ‘I am sorry’. I spent 15 minutes with a student from her class who talked and whined non-stop and I could not imagine dealing with him all day. She does it all day, every day. She told me this was a rough week with him. What about a rough week for her!?
Within those 15 minutes I had with the boy, the student (age 9) enthusiastically told me about his dad getting a new machine gun for his birthday to add to his weapon collection. When I asked what (on earth!?) his dad is going to do with the machine gun, he told me they would have it to break into houses, shoot, and kill people during the Apocalypse. Then, I asked where dad keeps this machine gun and he told me beside his bb gun where the other guns lay. Lovely. So, of course, I immediately told my friend that he should never touch a weapon without his father right there with him. Silence. (Lovely).
This student then jumps ahead to his next blurb of conscientious which is the Freddy movies. (Lovely). When I ask where he watches these movies, I find out that it’s not at dad’s, as one would expect. It’s at Granny’s. He rambles rapidly and I cannot even follow this story because I don’t watch Freddy movies (but of course, he wants to tell me more violent stories and about how much he loves this). At this point, I have to interrupt him to tell him to stop telling me about the details of the Freddy movies because a. I am not interested in Freddy movies and b. he shouldn’t be watching them either.
Moving onto the ‘real’ reason or problem at hand, the reason he really asked to see me, he’s fighting with his friendemy again. He started talking incessantly about this on-off-again friend and how he’s broken the friendship contract we made a couple weeks ago. He proceeds to tell me all the mean things this boy is doing to him, like telling other people not be be his friend. See, now we are getting to the ‘real’ problem, obviously!… After bashing this other boy that he was best friends with 2 week ago and me listening patiently, we come to the conclusion that they really need a break from each other. We will meet next week, again, to have a mediation.
Later in the day, I hear from other boys in his class that it’s actually this boy, the one who came to speak to me, that is telling others not be his friendemy’s friend. He spent that small amount of time we had together turning the story around and lying about who said what. (Lovely). In reality and the bottom line is that these boys do need a break from each other and both are untrustworthy. They are both in the same class and whine, lie, and complain a lot.
Getting to my point: Thank you, Mrs.(Teacher), for being a role model for these kids, for dealing with the drama every day while trying to teach your standards and stay on track. What would kids like this do if they were homeschooled?! With some of the role models and norms the children in this country have, thank goodness that we have dedicated adults that can show them a different perspective! Thank goodness we have patient, educated, and rational adults that expose these kids to different values. Thanks goodness there are teachers to teach about positive paths for the future, while encouraging their students to become productive members of our society every day.
What if we didn’t!? This country would come unglued, talk about Apocalypse Now! Teachers have an incredibly difficult job and it’s an uphill battle every day, on so many levels. Thank you, teachers, for not only being the voice of knowledge but also a voice of reason for so many kids. Teachers really help shape our future, and thank goodness so!