No child left without a swift kick in the behind

This has to be the single most challenging group of students in all of my nine years of teaching.

Usually, there is a reciprocal flow between myself and my students. There is a natural fluidity between the teaching and learning process, and their creativity and insight is such that I often find myself the student and they the teachers. That’s how it should be. But this year’s group…many of them are mired in apathy and have no qualms about propagating their negative attitudes. It’s like a cancer. In any given school year, I might have a handful of students who have this type of attitude, but this year I’d venture to guess that there’s about a 40/60 split between those who care and those who care not. Performance tasks usually met with enthusiasm are received this year with dramatic sighs, eye rolling, and complaints.

It’s comforting to know that it’s not just me. Of my three academic
teammates, I’ve taught with one for the past seven years, one for the
past five years, and one for the past three. We’re strong, highly
talented teachers and each of us already feels spent just two months
into the school year. We’re spending more time on discipline than we ever have before, and the insipidity, indifference, and impassivity emanating from this group is almost overwhelming.

I know that I’ll get good work out of them; they’re able, just not altogether willing. This year I will have to laboriously extract what usually just springs forth with little resistance. I just need to figure them out. Hopefully sooner rather than later, because my dramatic sighs, eye rolling, and complaints are on the rise, too.

11 Comments

  1. MomMega on September 22, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Oh my, sounds like you have quite a challenging year ahead of you. I wish you the best of luck and look forward to seeing how it turns out!



  2. Danielle on September 22, 2008 at 11:27 am

    How frustrating! If my child were in your class and acting up, you would be hearing a HUGE apology from her! You would also get a written one. I can not stand for disrespecting teachers and the like, makes me so mad! I know you and your team are up for the challenge and I wish it comes as soon as possible for you. Hang in there!
    -Hugs,
    D *ICLW*



  3. Carrie on September 22, 2008 at 11:40 am

    Maybe, just maybe, they will surprise you with great bags. It is one of the best projects they do!



  4. Nikki on September 22, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    Like you said – you know you’ll get good work out of them, even if it takes extra effort on your part. And I’m sure it will bring you extra satisfaction this year, to know you touched their lives and made a difference, despite the resistance and rolling eyes!



  5. Seriously? on September 22, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    I admire teachers (my mother was one) she always said the mix of kids in the class could make or break year. Here’s to better behavior or a swift end to the school year!



  6. Silver on September 22, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    Yikes… hope it gets easier!



  7. Echloe on September 22, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    If anyone can get those kids into shape I bet it is you. Good luck.



  8. sara on September 22, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Tell those little rascals that if they don’t shape up soon – I’m going to come kick their little butts, or slip some of my anesthesia drugs in their lunchtime drinks to make them mellow and cooperative. Did I just threaten to drug your class? Oppss – let’s keep that one under wraps, okay? Thanks for checking in on me – it makes me feel loved 🙂 When I read your last post about your family it made me want to come spend some time at your house – the whole post gave me warm fuzzies and I hope our house and family that we’re starting to build gives me those same feelings someday 🙂



  9. PJ on September 22, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    That was my class last year. I cannot express how much I adore and appreciate these kids this year, and how much more I enjoy teaching. I mean, I have a few that are a tad troublesome, but NOTHING like last year. Last year was torture.
    That said, my team had a talk today about how incredibly annoying it is to have a 2nd grader roll their eyes at you!!! Just the sheer rudeness of it! I would have NEVER in a million years thought of doing such a thing to any adult!



  10. Io on September 22, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    Little stinkers. Good luck not letting your eyeballs roll right outta your head.



  11. tash on September 23, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Crap I feel for you. If anyone can turn this bunch around, you can. Hang in there.