Wednesday, February 25, 2004
Wow. My students have this amazing ability to depress the heck out of me when I'm not even trying to dig up family history or whatever.
Today, in this very innocent activity where we were doing questions about a novel we are reading, I asked them this question:
"What do you think the character meant when he said, 'Sometimes I don't know why I look when I know what I see is going to tear me up inside'."
The book is about a boy who goes to see his absent father and finds out his dad is an alcoholic. Pretty tame stuff. Here are some of their responses:
"What he mean is that maybe his dad be beating on his mom and he just a baby so he just cry, stare."
"Mean like maybe your moms husband is a wife beater and your not supposed to tell or whatever because she told you no so you just have to watch."
"What is happening is sometimes a husband beat a mom and the kids not supposed to say nothing so they get teared up but they dont say."
Yeah. The story has nothing at all to do with men hitting women or wives being beaten by husbands. But I got EIGHT responses just like these. Jeez! It hurts me.
And today I got another one of my students kicked out of my class. I take way too much responsibility, actually. He was targeted by several people, including the principal. He is the student I talked about a long time ago, who is wanted for burglary. I met with his mom today and she told me that she was the one who called the cops on him for that burglary. She kept saying, "I'm just through with him. I have done all I can. I'm done." While the Special Ed team was telling her about how he was going to be moved into a self-contained special ed class, she just stared off into space, nodding. "Do what you think is right. I'm done."
It was so sad. I saw at least three women at my school today, coming out of the behavior management room after presumably having a meeting about thier kid, sighing deeply and looking totally resigned. Something has gone wrong with their children, who are fighting and running away and cursing out their teachers. They don't know what to do.
Many of these parents (I say parents mostly just to be nice- I have yet to meet or see a father at my school) work at least two jobs and can't be home to watch these kids. Many of the teachers I know sneer about these mothers and knowingly say things like, "If these women would stay home with their kids, then we wouldn't have such a hard time with them!" Maybe so, I guess. But then, starving children can be pretty unruly, too, I would think.
The long and short of it is that my third period class is down from 18 students to 7. Wow. ¶ 1:57 PM