When it comes to posting, I love nothing better than a juicy story about something that happened to me at work; a story that serves as a microcosm of the problems with our nation's education system.
I have had school years in the past where certain class periods caused me to drink entire bottles of wine when I got home. So it is rather refreshing that so far this year, I honestly don't have much to complain about. I am now just a bit over two months into this school year - plenty of time for the honeymoon to end - and overall, my students are pretty darn well-behaved. Is every day going to be all sunshine and bunny rabbits? Yeah right. But for the most part, I tell my students to calm down or quiet down and they... do.
My wife on the other hand...
She teaches first grade in a different district than mine. Her student population makes mine look like a bunch of private school Stepford children. She teaches in a very poor area full of apartment complexes, drug use, family dysfunction, and victim mentality. When we get home at the end of the school day, my report of how my day was can usually be summed up with a succinct, "No problems; I had a good day." Whereas, my wife usually has a couple tales to tell. Today was especially true.
While my wife has plenty of challenging students, her first grade teaching partner in the room next door is fighting what appears to be a losing battle. My wife often gets a call from him in the middle of the day because he needs her assistance reining in an out-of-control student (or two). Today, she got that call and walked in to see one student standing on the teacher's desk, and another student tossing the classroom computer monitors on the floor. At the same time, my wife had been babysitting yet another student from her partner's class - a female student who my wife describes as "pure evil." Keep in mind, this girl is a six year-old first grader. This girl also began seriously acting up, to the point where my wife ended up having to carry this girl to the principal's office while the girl struggled, tried to bite my wife and spit on her, and upon being delivered to the principal, slapped my wife on the arm.
Of course, one of the reasons behavior like this has become the norm at my wife's site is largely due to the administration's inability or outright refusal to do anything about it. Between fear of lawsuits from belligerent parents,; fear of loss of ADA money if the kid is suspended; and fear of damaging the self-esteem of the precious little monsters, these students act out in the most disruptive and atrocious ways, yet they are right back at school the next day, ready to do it all over again.
And my wife is right in the middle of it all.
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson