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.