Thursday, October 17, 2013
Here's the thing. Growth happens through difficult, dark, confusing, sometimes painful situations. I'm in a growth spurt as a teacher, I think. I choose to look at it that way so I don't get overwhelmed and I don't want to quit. Whatever amazing thing is about to blossom in my teacher-life...this is the part where the seed for that amazing thing has been buried deep in the dirt. It's dark, cold, soggy, lonely, and just plain boring.
I have this class that I love. I mean really love. I love their faces, I love their personalities, I love their sense of humor...it's a great class. They are great people.
But they really struggle as STUDENTS sometimes and it make me absolutely crazy.
The material we're going through...they aren't getting it. I haven't figured out how to make the material fun and engaging, given my time and resources. I refuse to say that I don't have the time and resources, but that's what it feels like. I'm sure I just haven't figured it out yet.
So I'm doing the best I can as a teacher and it's falling on deaf ears, blind eyes, and completely disinterested brains.
What I WANT to do is throw up my hands and say "Oh well. Fine. I'll teach it, you'll write it, we'll take a test and let's all just HOPE that you don't fail." But I know that if I do that, it'll be me who fails. Not the kids. Me. I'm the grown up. I'm the professional. I'm the responsible one.
And I'm totally spent.
Haven't I done enough? Is THIS the point where I get to say "enough is enough" and let the ball lie dormant "in their court"? Because I've done all that I know how to do and it's not working. And I really want to believe that yes, I did all that I could and some kids just aren't reachable. That means it's not my fault. It's not theirs either, it's just the way of the world.
I have to chuckle as I re-read that paragraph. Hopeless indifference. That's what I'm wrestling with. And it's probably the exact same thing that makes these kids struggle as students. The feeling that they've tried all they can and they still have a low C and their parents are still frustrated that they're not doing better so maybe this war just isn't winnable this time. Who cares about slope and rate of change, Mrs. Chieffe? Let's just hang out and be happy for a little while.
........I'm angry, I guess. Angry that I'm chasing my tail trying to figure out how to make this work and they've already given up. So I want to give up too.
I can't. I know that. Until these kids move on to the next teacher, my heart's desire is to reach them at all cost. (cursed heart) And every time I fail, I have to try again and again and again and again. If they are still with me, enough is not enough. I can't quit. If I do, we all fail, but me most of all because I should've been the one to keep going.
Which all sounds great and heroic and ra-ra and all that, but the reality is that I don't know what comes next. So...it's the dark, lonely, confusing, depressing stage of the growth spurt. I'll stay here a while and just BE. I'll just wait. And think. And one day, just when I'm extra sure that it's hopeless, a tiny shoot will push through the dark dirt and something amazing will begin to grow.