Archive for June, 2008

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Misunderstood

June 15, 2008

I am returned

There’s much to tell and much to talk about.  I am to Junior High, and should the stars align, I should be back here next year as well.

It’s been a particularly busy and eventful time for myself, and rather than having become tired with writing, exactly the opposite.  I have been outlining a new book.  Tentatively entitled “A Year in the Life of a Middle School Teacher“, it will look at a year in the life of a typical middle school teacher.  Me.

This site may (or may not) act as my sounding board.  At the very least, I want to keep it as a repository of some of my experiences that may (or may not) make it into the book.

But in the meantime, some housekeeping.  About a year ago, I wrote about having had enough, and looking to make the switch to senior high school.  I wrote about my frustrations, and of new challenges I might meet in senior high, and even shared some of these with my principal.

This passage might have set some people off.  Well, I know it did judging by the comments.

On the other hand, junior high kids, day in, day out, do leave their mark.  I’m tired of the fuckheads who should be in jail, who don’t want to be in school, or who love nothing more than to interrupt the learning of their classmates.

To which Posh replied (via commentary):

You obviously don’t belong teaching. This is EXACTLY why I sent my kid to private her whole life. To avoid losers like you who take up teaching and don’t belong.

I realize in hindsight that I might not have been as clear as I might have been.

I very much love the idea of teaching.  But in today’s society, we are very rarely teachers.  We have over the years, and through a process that I call mission creep, become parents, counselers, social workers, parole officers, and prison guards.   And that is not what I signed up for.

I am a teacher.  I think I am a very good one; I motivate, I know my stuff, I know multiple ways to describe and explain things, I have a great amount of patience, and I like (genuinely like !) young people, their energy, and their enthusiasm

What I don’t like, and what gets in the way sometimes, is dealing with kids who don’t want to be at school, who refuse to show a willingness to learn, and who would rather be somewhere else than at school.

Now, far from suggesting we abandon these kids, what I suggest is that we create appropriate settings and classrooms for such.  And separate them from the earnest, the willing, the enthusiastic, the excited.

We live in a dumbed down world, a world mimicked  (or perhaps even encouraged) by the public education system.  Education is not a one-size-fits-all kind of institution, but the politically correct powers that be have made it so.  Integration of high needs or learning disabled students (without support, of course), social promotion, and the promotion of inept pedagogy are all responsible.

There are other reasons, of course.  These ones sounded like a good start to begin railing against.

And so, dear Posh (author of the above comment): I have been misunderstood.  That’s okay, my fault entirely.  I hope to make it better.

And to begin writing more.  Cheers!

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