Thursday, May 28, 2009

warped training ground . . .

WARNING: This post is sort-of a complaint . . . but more of an observation.

Today I took the day off from school/work. It is getting a little crazy there and it seems that it is only getting worse.
Yesterday, the Vice Principal came into my room again, for the twentieth time or so, and yelled at the students for their bad behavior. I was shocked that he slammed the door and then proceeded to yell at the students threatening them, and trying to guilt them about their bad behavior. And I am talking BAD behavior! They just sat and endured the lecture. They are good at that. I am sure they were thinking "as soon as he blows off his steam, he'll leave and we can get back to what we were doing." He mentioned that he was embarrasses by them and their behavior. I think he is finally getting tired of their behavior and now it is starting to irritate him. The last weeks of May however is not the time to start disciplining the students and wishing they would stay home for the rest of the year. I have resolved to stay out of the madness, quietly go on about my business without any feathers being ruffled, every two days take a sick day off, and then quietly leave. This is SO unlike me . . . I have never been a quiet one that just follows the crowd and and makes no waves. What a trying and learning time. Also, in my resolve I have also decided not to bring up anything that I am having a problem with. Yesterday when he asked me, in front of the students, if I was embarrassed by them and their behavior, I came close to not even saying a word. Just blankly staring without communicating anything one way or another. (which is extremely hard) Instead of telling him that I was embarrassed, I told him that I was disappointed in their behavior. Truth be told, I am not even disappointed in their behavior, instead, I am concerned that the children are not being allowed to feel the consequences of their actions, and therefore will have a warped sense of how fair life is when they are grown. This training ground, at school, should prepare them to have experiences that they will face in the real world. The world that does not stop for them. The world that directly administers consequences for all of our actions. The world that doesn't wait . . . time stops for no one.

For years I have asked parents if they felt they were prepared for adulthood by their school experiences. I have never met a person that has said they were completely prepared for their adult life and there was nothing their parents and teachers should have done differently to help them more. In fact, just the opposite is true. All the people I have spoken to on the subject have said that they wish their parents and teachers would have told them how hard it was going to be when they get on their own. I am afraid that we are creating a population of people who believe that they are the center of the universe, they should be understood and and accommodated on every occasion, and that they have the immunity to avoid the MANY consequences of our decision making.

1 comment:

rob said...

There is a ton of pressure on school here recently. Our own administrative level is on the breaking point. We have been given a HUGE amount of federal monies from Obama's stimulus and we are trying to spend it as fast as we can before the schools down the street claim ownership.

Public Schools are at the tipping point and it is evident in the attitudes of not just teachers but higher level administration. I interact with all levels on a daily basis and I can tell you there is some major stress points going on right now. People are getting frustrated and are at the end of their rope. There is no ONE thing to point to, as rather it is a culmination of hundreds of things. State regulation, federal regulation, a run-away generation of learners, inadequacy of teaching professionals, lack of parental support and a diminishing demography of students.

By and large, last summer was the last large infusion of high school graduates to pass through the school system. From here on out for the next several years, high school graduates diminish quite dramatically due to demographic winter. This will continue to add pressure not only to the public school system, but to the college and university level as well.

Brace yourself, it only get's worse from here.