Soooo... it's been tough lately, if you've been reading my recent posts. I am starting to believe the legacy of this group of kids, despite my best intentions not to. I was determined that they were 'just kids' and have treated them as such all year.
A little disclaimer before I go on... of the 63 students I have this year, 50 of them are wonderful, amazing, terrific, fantastic, amazing, incredible, typical 7th graders. They have good days, bad days, and everything in between. They are funny and dumb, smart and ridiculous. They make me laugh, they make me cry, often with the same stunts. Every day with them is like a vacation. I really can't believe I get paid to spend time with them.
The other 13 though.... wow, do they drain my time, energy, creativity and patience. It doesn't seem to matter what we are doing, boring worksheets, fun open ended creative projects, bookwork, computer work, videos, me lecturing, them teaching each other, whatever it might be.... they hate it, simply hate it. They either refuse to do it, period, or they are so disgruntled in the process there is little if any real learning taking place.
I have tried all the tricks in my book, all the things I have used with success on hard-core kids in the past. Somedays, I see a tiny little speck of light at the end of the dark tunnel of oblivion they seem to live in, but most days, it is like I might as well abandon them on a desert island and pick them up in June because nothing I am doing makes a difference one way or the other.
In all my years of teaching, I have never felt so disenchanted, so hopelessly futile in my efforts, and like I am barely treading water holding my head in the crashing waves, gasping for breath.
I keep focusing on the 50.... while trying not to let the other 13 drown on my watch. But somedays it is more than I can handle.