I think I’m starting to hate being a teacher, and my hatred didn’t spawn from some unknown underworld without warning. Nope. This has been a long time coming.
I’ve worked in more schools than the average teacher (with my limited experience):
- Two elementary schools
- Two middle schools
- One high school.
Positions I’ve held:
- School teacher
- Teacher’s aid
- Library assistant
- Computer instructor
- History teacher
- English teacher
I’ve done pretty much everything shy of administration, though I’ve taken on some administrative roles at a few charters.
With my experience, I’ve come to realize that most people (teachers, students, parents, and administrators) hold some serious expectations, but never admit their reality. The reality is that most students in the schools that I serve lack a drive for success. They talk a good game, “I’m going to get straight A’s. I’ll study hard. And I’m going to pass my tests,” but they rarely back their claims with action.
I have parents that send emails without any punctuation, they capitalize random letters, and struggle to communicate their thoughts, yet they expect their children to perform well in school. The students struggle, not because they do not want to, but they do not have the tools to be successful. They have few people to access outside of the classroom that can correct their grammar or even provide advice on how to write a paragraph.
Administrators also live in a fantasy world. They believe that by following the standards set forth by [Government Agency], all students can be successful.
Me. I live in a reality. I live in a world where I’d rather tell a student, “Nope. You’re pretty stupid.” And follow up that claim with, “Now what are we going to do about it?” I prefer honesty to lies and manipulation, trying to trick a child and parent into believing that one day, their child can graduate and become successful.
My reality might suck. It might be wrong. But is the present reality working? Are our government, parental, and administrative expectations helping the US provide quality education to low income students? Nope.
Someday, someone will have to admit that we’re a failing system because we suck. These kids are just victims to the adults that were stupid before them. The adults with high expectations that do not match the reality in which they reside.