posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 05:49 PM
Ooouuuuggggghhhhhh this makes me so mad!
I teach in a very poor, rural area. Most of my students are living with a single parent or with grandparents. Most have at least one family member in
jail. Most receive government assistance in one form or another.
I have nothing against gov assistance for people who genuinely need it....but that's not what I'm seeing. What I'm seeing are healthy , employable
leeches who seem quite content to take, take, take, and ask for more.
For example. One boy, I've tried for over a month to get his mom in for a conference. She finally came today (after skipping 6! previous
conferences). Before I can start the conference, she's telling me he can't read because they don't have any books at home, and could I give them
some of my books? I remind her that the public library is free, at which point she takes out her iPhone! and starts texting. I wait patiently for ten
minutes while she texts away, then she puts the phone away and asks how much longer this is going to take. So I begin to show her the data I've
collected, which pinpoints what areas he needs to work on. She interrupts me to ask if the school has started taking applications for our Christmas
fund (churches and school staff donate gifts for our poorest students). Then she gets a text, says she has to go, and walks out. I'm running behind
her, trying to hand her the papers, and watch as she gets in a nice SUV and pulls away.
The horrible thing is, this is the norm where I teach. Parents can't afford to buy their children crayons, pencils, paper, or glue....so the teachers
pay for it. So far this year I've spent close to four hundred dollars on supplies my students need. Yet these same parents can afford to have fancy
phones, wear nice jewelry, and smoke cigarettes without any thought about priorities. It makes me so angry! And then, when the parent suddenly
realizes that what you've tried to tell them all year long, that their child cannot read, is true.....who gets the blame?
I've had parents ask me to buy just about anything you can think of....last year, one parent asked me to buy her a tank of gas. I don't know if
it's just ignorance, maybe they think it's the school who pays for this stuff. Or maybe they don't care.
It angers and frustrates me to see a child denied a place on a field trip bc dad needs the money for beer or cigarettes or lottery tickets. And yes, I
know that's what this parent bought bc I was in the same line. Call me gullible, but I paid for that child's field trip. It's not the fault of a
six year old that dads priorities are skewed.
There is a difference in helping folks who are actively seeking employment and just can't find a job, or their hours have been cut, etc. But that's
not the circumstances for a lot of my kids. The fact is, mom or dad gets paid for having kids, lives in government housing, buys groceries with food
stamps, THEN makes their money selling drugs or prostituting. Which they do in front of their children.
One of my students is determined that he won't do anything in class. He's only six, but he's already learned to "play the system," so to speak.
Yesterday I took him aside for a little talk about the importance of education. I do this regularly with the kids bc the dropout rate in my area is so
high. I ask him what he wants to be when he grows up. His answer? He's not going to have a job. So I ask how he'll pay for his house, and food, and
clothes if he doesn't have a job. He just shrugs and says his daddy doesn't have a job and the "govment" pays their bills. So daddy plays
Nintendo all day and hangs around with his friends...and that's what my student wants to do.
How do you fight that, ATS?
I love my students and would walk through fire to help them get a wonderful education. But really, sometimes I feel like giving up. The apathy is
simply too much.
Now I'm off to have my nightly cry over my students.
end whining rant