Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My heart cries for my students.

Goal of the week: Getting organized. How's that going for me? I need to make a list of the classroom procedures that I use in my room and how effective they have been for me this year. Some procedures have been horrible and I have discontinued them. Some have been great and I've permanently adopted them. Some, I really need to work on because they are great but I need to be consistent with them no matter how difficult it is!

Thought of the day: My heart cries for my students.

I'm absolutely horrified right now because of the test day and test corrections. My students, no average, scored about 25 to 28 out of 50 on yesterday's test.

In fact... when I handed back the graded test today most of the students were unable to figure out their percentage on the test. There continued to be unable to do so even when I told them that each test question was worth two percentage points, or that you take your score and multiply by two. I demonstrated on the board but this math is beyond a lot of them.

I now have headache. Or a heartache to be more precise. My heart hurts for them. So many of them don't understand how serious it is that they are missing the vital skills that they need.

I can't teach quickly enough to make up for the skills that they lack. There's just no way that I can give them all the skills that they need. Most of my students don't have the literacy skills to read a textbook written at the 9th grade level. They ask me what words like "critical" and "atmospheric" mean.

It's not that they're unintelligent. Quite far from it. My students are bright, just ignorant in the truest definition. They just don't have an education and it makes them seem like less than what they are. I just want to cry from the sin of it. They are such wonderful people and they could be so much more with an education. They have so much potential and they're wasting it.

I don't know how to make this clearer to them. They all want the easy way out and there is no easy way out. Not for life and not for an education. This much I have learned in my first year teaching in this rare and forgotten place on Earth. These students have been taught to take the easy way out by everyone around them so much that it's scary.

No one at all in their lives or around them has shown them what hard work means. Or what determination is. Or how to devote yourself to becoming better and evolving to perfection. Or to DISCIPLINE. Someone needs to show them. Someone.

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