Friday, November 15, 2013

Today is opening day of deer season. I swear every other school in the state has a day off, especially since it falls on Friday this year. But not us, ooooohhh no!

So here were are, with half the kids missing, trying to fill the hours. I do try to carry on academics as much as possible, but the reality is, whatever we do today is lost. With so many seats empty, those absent will have to be 're-instructed' Monday.  In THEORY, students should have to make up the work they miss on their own, be herein lies the hard cold reality. Students do not do work outside of school - I don't care what the class, what the assignment.... We have a culture of non-compliance for school work.  Students don't care. It is overwhelming to even consider the how's of fixing it.

Students know they will be sent on to the next grade regardless of their academic progress so many choose coasting though middle school. Even 'good' students are lackadaisical about a missing assignment here and there, so long as they manage to get through.

Part of the issue is with US, the school, the teachers, the system. We have been molded into a group of 'make them feel good about themselves' robots, who bend over backwards to make sure no one fails, and everyone gets through high school. It is like a black mark against US if they choose to fail. This habit is creating a generation of coasters, who will graduate without the skills they need to be successful. We have taught kids we will give them one more one more chance a zillion times, extend yet another deadline, excuse missing work, not expect excellence from them on anything. We mean well, but we overextend the chances to the point of ridiculousness, to the point students no longer expect themselves to meet deadlines or do what is expected because they have been brainwashed into thinking they NEED those accommodations to be successful.

The other component of the downward disaster is parents. Parents think imposing consequences on their children for misbehavior, for missing work, is taboo. I see students who have been suspended spend their punishment day playing video games, snapchatting friends, or taken shopping. Seriously??? Suspension from school should warrant NO FUN at home. Kids LOVE suspensions. Why wouldn't they! We have students who miss 1-2 days of school per week, just because. We have kids whose parents don't care that they are failing and actually perpetuate the acceptance of failure in their children. We have students who come from families who don't work and manage just fine to survive financially, so those students view their future as not needing an education. They think WE are the ones to be pitied because WE have to work everyday to survive.

We are told to build relationships. We are told students will rise to our expectations.
 and sometimes, they do....
and sometimes, they don't.
and sometimes, we can fix them, or us, or both.. and find ways for them to be successful.
and sometimes, it is beyond our scope of possible...