Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Lord, Help Me.

I am still deep in jetlag recovery, evidenced by the earlier and earlier times that I begin to feel heavily sleepy--9.30, 8.00, 7.30. I've gone to bed at 9.30 the last two nights and have gotten up very early (wide awake by 6 am today), but in the afternoon, I just drag. I feel like I will fall down.

Yesterday's return to school wasn't bad, mostly because of the snow. (By the way, what a disappointment!) I had first and second off, a coverage third, fourth and fifth off, and then taught sixth, seventh, eighth. We did our language warm up and worked on a four square.

Today, though, I had myself a not-good day. I'm sure it's my fault. But that middle class was once again a bunch of rude, obnoxious assholes. At times I have no control, and they literally laugh rudely at my tactics. I feel completely ineffective and just plain pissed off. There are so many kids who willfully do nothing, in class or at home, and purposefully don't control their desire to distract people around them. My calls home, my talks with them, my individual progress sheets--they don't care, they don't change, nothing matters, who cares? I feel like I want to just be done with it, I can't handle it anymore.

And then the afternoon class were also rude and disrespectful. With the jetlag probably intensifying things, but also some thinking about my future, this shit got to me. I made the kids just sit and read for a good hour, and they did, to their credit. But I just sat there, thinking and drifting and tearing up. Why am I doing this? Why do I keep fighting them when it doesn't work? They don't care and it just bothers me. What's the point? I think I don't like my job. I think I need to leave.

This evening, I put on some music on alpha play, like always. Fiona Apple, genius that I love, her song "Get Gone" was playing, and the lyrics just completely fit my day today. Observe, with my adjustments:

Cuz I do know what's good for me-
And I've done what I could for you
But you're not benefiting, and yet I'm sitting
[Tiring] again, [try], [whine] again
How can I deal with this, if [they] won't get with this
[How]'m'I gonna heal from this; [they] won't admit to it
Nothing to figure out; I gotta get [them] out
It's time the truth was out that [they] don't give a
Shit about me
How many times can it escalate
Till it elevates to a place I can't breathe?
And I must decide, if you must deride
That I'm much obliged to up and go
I'll idealize, then realize that it's no
Sacrifice, because the price is paid, and
There's nothing left to grieve
Fuckin go-
Cuz I've done what I could for you, and I do know what's
Good for me and I'm not benefiting,
instead I'm sitting [whining] again, [tiring] again, [done] again


Anonymous said...


Just stumbled across your blog and read this entry. Teachers worldwide have my sympathy for a largely thankless job.

I'm sure I'm not the only one, but when I look back at school, I can't say I enjoyed it (what child does?) but I am deeply thankful for the education I received nevertheless, and to those teachers who made the effort to make lessons interesting and ensure that something stuck between my ears.

I've worked in management in a large British media organisation for several years now and never cease to be astounded by, for example, e-mails sent to me from the personnel department with more spelling mistakes per word than bullet holes in a downtown Basra house. Don't they care? Apparently not. Aren't they ashamed? Even less so, it seems.

Then there is the endless debate in the media about the woeful (or wonderful - take your pick) state of education in this country. It certainly seems to be a fact that for many young people learning is decidedly not cool. What gets my goat is that I have spent the last couple of years working with Afghans, who would give an arm and a leg for the kind of education you can get over here, and envy us greatly. It's ironic! And saddening.

Good luck!

Nic said...

Oddly enough I had the same thought today as your previous commentator. I had a girl who rarely comes to my class, and who was failing all her classes, come to me with a withdrawal slip today. She was transferring to a charter school that caters to more independent students, who work at their own pace to earn their HS diplomas. This is NOT a girl who is self-motivated. As I filled out her slip, I glanced at her and thought, there are kids in other places who would give ANYTHING for the chance at a decent education, and here you are, blithely throwing yours away. Tragic, and infuriating.