Monday, September 08, 2003
I think, perhaps, they are just never going to be quiet. The children. Too much to ask, I dare say. Teach for America tells you over and over to hold "high expectations" and I used to imagine that they meant the kids would read a ton of books or pass a hard test or truely excel. But I am learning that my "high expectation" was that they would ever shut the hell up. And I think I am dropping it right now.
Tonight is the first Parent/Teacher Organization meeting and I have to open up my class to parents to meet me. I am terrified that parents are going to come charging in and find words misspelled on the board and demand to know why their child is constantly in detention. I am afraid they are going to blame me for their kids lack of interest in the world and inability to be respectful. It seems so unfair; I have only had them a month. How do I tell a parent that the fruit of their loins is just basically an ass? Can I tell a parent, "Your child seems to be completely committed to failing my class and making me cry." ? Or should I sugar coat it and say, "Your son has many leadership qualities and if he would only apply himself blah blah blah."
But then I remember that the really "bad" kids in my class most likely won't have anyone coming to the PTO meeting. And then that makes me feel sad and reminds me that I really do need to try to reach these kids. It is the kids that are doing well that will have a family posse interested in knowing their teacher. The other kids parents are working or taking care of other kids or involved with some other nightly activity that prevents school involvement. Ugh. I try to keep their messed up circumstances central in my mind, but it is hard when they are glaring at you and telling you that they have never been so miserable as they are in your presence.
I hope the parents like the things on my board. I hope none of the kids wrote cuss words on the "Get to Know Us" bulletin board in order to screw me.