Saturday, December 5, 2009

An 8th grade observation

One of my students has written me a series of poems about her observations in class. Interestingly enough it started on career day where she looked around and noticed other students not paying attention while the various speakers were talking and it concerned her. So she wrote a poem about it. She gave me the poem and I read it and it mirrored many of the sentiments I've posted on this blog. That made me think. She then went on to write two more poems about her day to day in class. That too mirrored many things I've either said or thought. That really got me thinking....

If a student is able to express concerns about the other students in class, then there is obviously a problem. I do my best to deal with these students but it's like trying to dig a hole in a pool of water. When you scoop more fills right back in. It's tragic that students like my little poet have to suffer because of a lack of discipline by other students, lack of training from home and the lack of a true system to deal with problem students.

These kids are fine being suspended, don't show up for detention, don't mind failing and have very little respect for themselves or others. What do you do with a student like that? That's the question facing many teachers now. You try to focus on the students trying to learn, but you can only ignore or supress the "other" student for so long before they start to distract and influence others.

I still plan on teaching to the best of my ability and hoping to help students like my poet to reach her full potential. I know she will. Beyond that I'm going to continue to struggle with grading policies and procedures and overall frustrations of the education system, but I plan to try to be as positive as possible through it all. As always, thanks for your time and I'll post the poems on a later day. Take care and feel free to follow or share this with a friend.
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