Thursday, June 11, 2009

I don't know much.

I've been feeling weird this week. Up, down, down, up. Sure, unsure. Decisive, indecisive.

Today, after a ridiculous day, which isn't even abnormal, I finally decided I'd had enough. I called my agency and told them that tomorrow will be my last day subbing at this school.

I made some test calls to my bf and my mom beforehand, and I cried a bit. I was unnerved by a bad day, a weird week, and trying to shore up my strength and hoping that this was the right thing to do.

I've been trying to tell myself to learn from my past, my mistakes, my ignorance. At the other school, it was bad. Every once in a while it would be slightly less bad and I'd be fooled as the next day the awfulness returned. I didn't like it. I cried. I stayed and pretended to be strong and insisted I could make it, even as I lost my temper, hours of sleep, and buckets of tears.

I didn't want to quit. I should have quit. Possibly never even started.

I've been at this school since mid-March. Three months of near-daily abuse, of varying degrees, BY CHILDREN. I took over a class of students who showed glimmers of tenderness and glimpses of souls, but who mainly showed hatefulness--toward each other, toward me, toward any work whatsoever.

I called parents. I wrote up the referrals. The children continued to fight, to curse, to show blatant disrespect, with ZERO consequences and almost no change. TWO fights broke out this afternoon, for stupid shit. It's all stupid shit. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

*I* am stupid for staying this long. I told myself I shouldn't come back after spring break. I came back. I thought, maybe it's not so bad. Maybe things can get better. Maybe they're starting to see that I'm not really so evil.

But, stupid, of course I am! How dare I quiz the students on the grammar 'we' were 'practicing' for the last two days! How dare I insist that students stay in their goddamned SEAT while class is going on! How DARE I expect the administration to actually DO SOMETHING about the awful behavior of the children who have been acting up all fucking year!

So yes, I cried this afternoon. Is it cowardly to quit this 'job' with two weeks left in the year? Am I abandoning the children? Surely I was starting to reach some of them? Surely they *all* didn't despise me?

Surely it can't be that bad for only ten more days? But god, when each day starts feeling like torture? When the kids resist anything and everything I say?

I am forfeiting a thousand dollars, which is a month's rent or lots of bills paid or a trip somewhere. Now I face two and a half months of no sure income, which is really scary.

But I think I finally realized that these terrible, draining days are NOT worth it--not worth the money or the time or the abuse. I really don't like feeling like a quitter, but I *will* like getting up in the morning again.


N. said...

Teaching is hard, but it's impossible in certain conditions. And it is torture and it isn't worth it. Good luck with everything.

Ms. M said...

Happy Early Summer Break!

Anonymous said...

I think you did what was best for you, with best intentions, when you started. And I think you did what you had to when you stopped (frankly, I'm surprised you didn't stop much earlier)

Enjoy the (slightly) early break!

dramamath said...

This may seem strange to hear, but perhaps this is the wrong age group for you. Reading your exploits it is easy to see that you do so much to make the situation better. Maybe it is time to try out a more mature age group.

Mister Teacher said...

I'm sorry that you've had such a rough time. It is so incredibly awful to hear (and SEE first hand!) how some children and parents behave towards what SHOULD be positions of authority!
Ultimately, you have to make the best decision for yourself and your life.
Good luck!

Fred said...

I think you made the right call. Sorry it was so tough, and I hope things work out for the better. In fact, I'm sure they will.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Don't be so hard on yourself. (Easy for me to say, I know.) I think you'll eventually come to the realization that you made the right decision--for your sanity's sake!