I had an absolute meltdown this morning.. in class... I am so beyond frustrated with the behaviors of my students I am at the end of my rope. I know we are at the end of the year and they are ready to be done, and some of the behaviors are to be expected.
But on the other hand, we've come so far together. They've grown up dramatically, or so I thought.
Guided Study class starts the day, an hour for special ed kids to get extra help on assignments, or just a quiet time and place to work. They are ALL failing AT LEAST 2 classes, with tons of assignments due, overdue, exams to study for, projects to finish, etc... But all they can do is giggle, chat, complain - about everything from A-Z - one day this week it was how stupid the dress code is when I sent 2 girls to office for ripped jeans - one of which had been called out on EXACT same pair of pants by principal LAST week. But instead of taking care of the problem, it became a HUGE argument/heated discussion about how stupid the dress code is, how this school is going downhill, how they are ALL going to Community School (alternative high school) next year. The more I tried to refocus them, they more obnoxious they became - to me, to each other, to the entire school. Another day, it was simply a refusal to work - I gave them study guides for their history exam, but they didn't want to use them - refused to look for their notes, get a book, etc.. Another day, it was a battle over getting their math assignment that SHOULD have been homework, but none of them take work home, but they wouldn't find it so we could even try to tackle it. Another day one girl insisted she had to type her science notes, only for me to find her playing a video game online instead.
The saddest part isn't the defiance, or the disrespect... it is that THEY have given up on themselves. They know they are failing. They know there is no hope. They know that by in large, they aren't going to get a high school diploma. The one girl announced today that she's just going to get one of those "FREE CHECKS like my mom does - $1800 a month - so I can stay home and not do nothing." She went on to brag she "don't know why nobody ever wants no job. That's just crazy! Stay home, do what you want and the FREE CHECK comes in the mail on the 3rd of every month."
and she's right.... why would they want to show up, do their work, struggle, try hard.... get a diploma - which they ALL could do if they actually tried.... when FREE money comes in the mail for doing nothing.
But don't worry, I will keep showing up, doing my work, struggling, trying hard.. for them and the ones who will follow them.. so that FREE money will land in their mailboxes for generations to come. Heaven forbid we try to change the system, break the cycle, and teach responsibility. Do I sound angry and disgruntled? Maybe I am...