Thursday, May 14, 2015

Mean Girls: Have I failed them?

Nothing quite sobers you up than looking at a screen shot of a Twitter fight between some of your this case, high school girls.

Wow. The sweet, respectful young scholars that sit before me are obviously not the owners of this Twitter account.  The vitriol spewed forth is nothing we have learned in class, yet if feels very well studied and superbly executed.  It was brutal.  I actually cannot repeat any of it in my my blog for fear of an indecency flag.

Expletives aside, it was just simply mean.  It was mean and ugly and gross. And it stayed with me all night. The four girls involved were all brought into the APs office and given the appropriate discipline, but although necessary, I don’t think it will stop the problem.

Ironically, these girls are all in my Speech Communications course, where our entire emphasis of the class is on...well...communicating. We also work extensively on conflict resolution. I guess we need a little more work in this department.  Maybe that is why I took it so hard. The reality of teaching is, you can work all year with a kid and really feel as if you are making progress and then, in true teenage fashion, they will make a really, really bad decision.

Here is where the public opinion of teachers really gets me. The label “bad teacher” is thrown around like salt at McDonalds...too much. What non-educators fail to realize is that our clientele is a bunch of kids and kids are unpredictable. They are at a time in their lives where they are navigating their way from childhood to adulthood and along with that, bad decisions become the norm. We try everyday to steer them in the right direction...go towards the light, children! But, sometimes the darkness the form of cute boy, snapchat, or just plain vanity.

Today, we will circle up, play some soft music, check our phones into the back of the room, make eye contact, and attempt some verbal appreciations to open class. It could be a time of healing or a complete disaster, as my teacher buddies well know. Our world is an unpredictable one...but, we keep trying, we keep fighting, because these kids - challenges aside - are well worth it.

No comments:

Post a Comment