What more do they want?


I am so tired.

I have spent the past 14 hours prepping, teaching, conferencing and correcting.   I have addressed math, reading, spelling, science, social interactions, recess, special education modifications, homework assistance and technology skills.

On my way home, I listed to the radio.  There was quite a lot of talk about the horrific shooting in Nevada yesterday.  About the twelve year old boy who shot and killed a teacher before killing himself with a shot to the head.

I didn’t hear one single comment about how society should be stepping up to help the teachers who have to deal with yet another dead colleague, killed while trying to take a gun away from an angry young man (boy).  Nope.  But I heard plenty of speculation about bullying, and more than a little talk about how schools have failed to prevent violence.

Yep. Let’s just keep blaming the victims.  That always works.

Tonight I read my local paper, the Boston Globe. I read about the recent suicides of two young teen aged girls in an upper middle class community in our state.  Both girls had struggled with depression, and both chose to end their lives.

Parents and siblings in the community got together to address the issue of suicide and to try to cope with the horror of what has happened.

I read about how critical the parents are of the school district. One complained that the schools were not addressing suicide directly enough.  Another complained that the schools were bringing too much attention to the issue, and were glamorizing it.

I didn’t see one single comment where the parents, friends, family or community looked at themselves or their behavior or asked what role they may have played in the deaths.   I didn’t see one single suggestion that perhaps the community at large could be reaching out to the teachers to try to help them to deal with the deaths.

I am just so damn tired.

When did society decide that schools are responsible for academics, study skills, money skills, nutrition, moral education, sex education, bullying prevention, mental health, suicide prevention, conflict resolution, sustainability, civics, technology education and career planning?

Parents, here is a news flash: I get your kid for 6 1/2 hours a day.  You get him for 17 1/2.    I get to influence him for 9 months; you get that influence for 20 years or more.

I can’t make your child happy, secure, safe, confident, self-assured, organized, peaceful, non-confrontational, healthy, ecofriendly or smart.

I’m just one teeny tiny piece of the great tapestry that will become your child’s life.  I am not a priest, a doctor, an environmentalist, a nutritionist, a shaman, a magician or a confessor.  I am not a cop.

Please share the burden with me. Please let me teach math and reading and history.

Please don’t ask me to right all the wrongs in the world, and please, please, please:

Don’t blame me or my colleagues when things to horribly wrong for your child or for her friends.

It takes a village.  A whole village. Not just the village school.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Lisa Williams on October 28, 2013 at 11:27 am

    BRAVO!! You have taken the words right out of my mouth. All of this (and more) swirls around in my head daily and to finally see some of what I think in written form is… well.. just great. It’s true. Even though I am not in the classroom anymore, I still feel it and try to figure out ways to be an advocate for teachers. Love this and I am going to share if you don’t mind. 🙂 Take care and hang in there…. I truly believe the education system is on the brink of a major shift, and society (parents) will not be exempt!

    Reply

    • Thank you!!! By all means, please feel free to share. I love my job, I love those kids, but man, sometimes it gets hard! So happy to know that you are out there, and that you “got my back”!

      Reply

  2. Posted by iorizzot on November 30, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    I love this. Every fucking word I love it (forgive my language). I once thought I’d become a French teacher until I realized before graduating high school that teaching in public schools is more about politics and bureaucracy than it is actually educating children.

    Reply

    • But you know what? it wasn’t always so. Ten years ago, even 5 years ago, it was better than this.
      Very demoralizing times in education…..

      Reply

      • Posted by iorizzot on November 30, 2013 at 2:28 pm

        My sister teaches high school English, says the exact same thing. If it were any better in Québec I’d teach English there for a while but alas it’s hardly better there.

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