It would've been an easier sell if someone had pointed out the cost of childcare for three weeks vs the average increase in sales taxes for a family.
I was pooping bricks looking at the early returns. It not passing would've meant serious cutbacks here (no toys and very few comics for quite some time :(), and we even know some teachers at our church who would've been in danger of losing their homes.
It would definitely have been an adjustment for students, parents, and teachers.
Yesterday ended final exams; but now I have to grade the darn things (only done with 1 1/2 classes, with 3 1/2 left to go, but I can submit grades as late as the week we return from winter break). So close on some final student point totals of 1138 (they're all over that amount, so I couldn't even boost a score up a couple to reach it... not that I'd ever do that, even to reach that magical mark).
In my house, it is MORE than evident that school resumes tomorrow....
I've been doing little bits to prepare over the past few days; I think I'm ready for semester two tomorrow.
Our school resumed last Wednesday. It is a lot easier going back to a 3 day week than to a 5. I hope you guys enjoyed your break.
I've brought this thread back to the top in order to get some things off my chest.
Sometimes I enjoy being a teacher. I feel like I am helping young people by giving them knowledge and trying to teach them life skills. It can be very rewarding when this happens.
Other times I wonder why I even got into this profession. Some students try their best to do everything they can to avoid work, responsibility, and common decency. Note that I said some students, not all. Also keep in mind that I teach at an alternative school, but we do have some good kids who really do put forth an effort.
Today is one of those days where I am left wondering why I even bother. In my 8th grade North Carolina history class, I put a straight-forward activity on the board. It goes like this:
Imagine that you are the governor of North Carolina. The people of your state are depending on you to help them with certain problems. These problems are:
-Problems in public schools (violence, lack of money for books, computers, etc.)
-Crime and punishment (violent crimes have increased in the last 10 years, such as murder and robbery)
-Unemployment and poverty (how do we get people back to work and break the cycle of poverty)
All they had to do was write 2 sentences for each issue (a total of 6 sentences) and tell what they would do to try to fix the problem.
After the first 10-15 minutes of initial complaining and bellyaching, I had 2 students put their heads down and refuse to work (they got written up by me) and 2 others who said they didn't care and wrote down completely idiotic responses (and they will receive a zero for their grade).
I apologize for the long post and the long rant, but I get discouraged when I do all I can to get kids involved and get them to use critical thinking skills and all I get in return is a struggle. I also get enraged when I think about the fact that the state is holding ME responsible for test scores and performance, when they refuse to even try or listen.
You're not alone, J&H.
My wife goes through the same scenario weekly with her third grade class. She teaches at a magnet school which brings in lower-economic students. Some are great, others don't care just like in your class. She, too, is enraged by the fact that she is held responsible for their performance by inept legislators who can't even keep their own house in order. It's easier to set up a scapegoat than to realize that they are the root of the problem.
This very issue came up in lunchtime discussion. The pull-your-face-down-with-your-hands feeling comes over me every so often. :( I have run into similar students (using that term loosely), but what's worse is when the parents don't care. THAT is when I have my doubts and depressions. Focus on those successes you DO have, J&H; they are what get you through it. :thumbsup:
J&H, the situation you mentioned is exactly the kind that non-teachers will never understand, legislators will never take into account, and the public will never fully appreciate. We go through a lot and you certainly did today. I have a theory as to why this lack of student care seems to be on the rise: AMBITION. There is no class that teaches it and there are too many homes that don't promote it to their children. "If all I need to be happy is a video game or social networking site and I already have that now" or "If my parents get by with mediocre or no jobs," then "why should I care about my education?" Squeaking by has become such a difficult temptation to resist for so many students. There's a fun text on this subject called The Dumbest Generation by Mark Bauerlin. I assign it as independent reading during my non-fiction unit in the 11th grade. You're fighting the good fight, sir. Carry on!