Friday, December 9, 2011

It has been a month.

And I still hate teaching.

I am trying. I pray to love my students. I pray to humbly accept that this is simply something I have to do right now. I try to make it fun. I try to remember what a great language Spanish is. But, still. . . I hate it.

The whining, the moaning, the texting, the innuendo, the language, the apathetic gazes across the room followed by a "what are we doing?" 2 seconds after I explained exactly that. You would think these kids are recovering from hip surgery the way they holler every time I ask them to stand up and participate in a well crafted, engaging learning activity. Almost every time I worry for the future of our great nation, nay the world. Are teenagers all over the world like this??

I drop my kids off in the morning, and toil away trying to convince someone else's kids that Spanish really does have a purpose in their little redneck worlds. Meanwhile someone else is reading to my children and seeing them point out every exciting thing they see. So not fair. A conversation this past week:

Me: (to student) Do you have any questions? Are you going to start the assignment?
Student: Nah, I don't know none of this crap.
Me: (deep breath) No reason to call it crap just because you don't know it.
Close-minded student: It is crap. It ain't American.
Exhausted teacher exits to the right before saying something she would regret

But, what else do I do? What else can I do? I try to laugh. I have a student who hunts deer. . from her living room window. I have a student who wears fatigues every day . . . . the same pair. Air freshener has become a friend in that class. I have a student who perpetually tries to convince me that he has a two year old daughter and another that insists she is having a hard time learning Spanish because she is Puerto Rican. . . so she only speaks Puerto Rican.

It is Friday. I've never loved them so much. Today, even though we've had two quizzes every Friday for the last 15 weeks, my little mini-adults will slump into the room and shout, "What! We are having a quiz today?!?!?" Then they will whine. They will probably cheat. And many of them will fail. And they will think it is my fault. After all, I'm the one teaching them this un-American crap.

If you get to stay home with your children today. . . will you please read to them and give them a hug for me. It ain't easy, I know. But boy are you lucky to be doing something so repetitive, so monotonous, so hard, so messy, and so completely important.

Te prometo. Vale la pena.

Look it up. I'm off duty.


  1. I'm sad that you're not spending your days the way you'd prefer (I know it would be hard for me too), but as a parent of 2 high schoolers, I want to say, "Thank You," to you and all the teachers who put up with teenage attitudes and antics. I am appreciative every day for the efforts of their teachers. And even not knowing your students, I can say confidently that I'm sure your influence is extending much further than you know. I've listened to you teach and you are amazing. :)

  2. I think you underestimate the impact you're having there. Many teachers would give up. You're not.

    I think it was you who wrote a post that rankled me a little but that stayed with me (which means, obviously, it was true and I didn't want to hear it). You said that, at every stage, we think it's more than we can bear. Then we look back, after that period of growth, and wonder what the heck our problem was. How could we have thought THAT was so difficult?

    I'm not suggesting this isn't difficult, because it is. There is something inherently demoralizing about seeing people who don't seem to care about education. But your idealism and your belief in what education should be is getting through to someone. You may not ever know who it is. But it's getting through. And you're growing.

    Hang in there. You're not alone.