Saturday, February 25, 2012

February Vacation At Last!

Today is the first day of our Feb. break.  It couldn't come soon enough!  Don't get me wrong, I'm having a terrific year with my kids.  However, it seems that my tank runs out around Thursdays nowadays, and it seems to take longer to refill it.  Must be my age!  Actually I think it's because of the increasing neediness of our students.  While many of my kids come from families who are truly struggling, it's not financial neediness as much as it's emotional and academic neediness.  I probably lose 10 minutes of every class to dealing with behavior issues that never used to be a problem.  The rise of ADHD kids and kids who are unable to focus in class is incredible.  Part of the problem is the way kids have come to expect entertainment and fun and games in school instead of work.  Not that I don't provide fun learning experiences, and a lot of hands-on activities so they don't have to sit in their seats all day, but the majority of kids in my school expect that school should be easy.  The minute I ask kids to do something hard, they fall apart.  I keep telling them if I don't challenge them to go beyond what they already know, they won't grow.   In each group of students I teach, there are 2 or 3 who put in tremendous effort.  They work hard all the time and take pride in producing quality work.  But the other 20 or students just give their work a glance and work just enough to turn something in regardless of quality.   D's are perfectly acceptable to them and apparently to their parents.  And then there are the parents who take their kids out of school for vacation the week or 2 BEFORE vacation.  You gather work for them to accomplish, and then they don't do it, not even when they get back.  And then their parents get upset that their kids are failing!  For the most part my parents are very supportive, but they too are quite needy and helicoptery.

Can you tell I'm tired?

I have no plans for the week other than to do our taxes, read, knit, sleep, and watch Midsomer Murders on Netflix as well as the hours of shows on my DVR!


Christine said...

Your experience with students was mine as while. We told my oldest granddaughter over and over "in our family we expect you to do your best" and we have repeated that phrase as each child entered school. Don't know what impact it has had but wanted them to know that we expect "effort". My 9yr old granddaughter who is very smart is resisting chapter books because they look "hard". She continues to read picture books which sometimes has quite sophisticated language that she struggles with. It's sheer laziness! We are working on it!! Teachers need breaks!!!

Panhandle Jane said...

Enjoy your break! I do know exactly what you mean, except my experience was that the parents still expected A's for the poor-quality work.