Today's rant: Some days I feel like a total and utter failure as a teacher.Why, you may ask? I'm connecting with my students? I'm making an impact on their lives! I'm helping them to work on literacy and basic math skills. I'm helping them to gain an interest in the sciences and show them that they *can* do well in school.
However, I don't feel like that's enough. I don't feel like they're learning. I'm not meeting the state standards. I'm going at a snail's pace to make sure that I've got everyone caught up and we're falling behind. I'm going so slow to not scare them. I'm leaving out the stuff that I know that they won't have time to get because they don't have the background knowledge for. It makes me feel cheap and dirty, like I'm giving up on them without trying. When do I say, "that's enough" and walk away from a challenge? I feel like I've been doing that too much.
As my students would say "that's just too much." Except when they say it, it's usually in response to the amount of work I'm giving them. For me, I feel like I'm not doing a good job as their teacher. I feel like I've given up on them because I'm not pushing them hard enough.
They may not know the same amount as other kids, they may only have "pockets of knowledge," they may have seen things in their lives that would make me want to run and scream, they may go home and not see a single happy thing for the rest of the day but my face, they may not eat at home, they may just be pitiful.... but that doesn't make them stupid. I don't want to treat them like they're stupid. They are all bright and have the ability to pull themselves out if they want to. I just need to balance that with the reality of their lives and that is incredibly difficult.
The motto I want to live by is "No Excuses." However, what do you do when there are reasons for when students don't have work done or fall asleep in class every day? I want to push them to do their best... but what does that really mean?
I just want to have faith in them and push them to do their best. I want to believe in each and every one of them but it's draining. My little heart is tired in believing all day long. Is there a point where you just don't want to believe in each one every day? Is that wrong? I think it is. They're children, after all.