Here’s an old treasure I found … I wrote this in November 2014 (my 8th year of teaching high school … with two maternity leaves in between). It outlines clearly the world that is teaching now … and it isn’t pretty.
It was a Wednesday morning, 5:43 a.m., when I stumbled upon a Facebook link entitled “What Students Really Need to Hear.” Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-O7v4EJjx-g
Not entirely sure what to expect, I clicked on the link. As I read about this teacher, Chase Mielke, lying awake in the middle of the night stressing about his students, I couldn’t help but think of myself as an educator. At first, I felt guilt because I am not often awake in the middle of the night thinking about my students. If I am awake in the middle of the night, it is because one of the little beings down the hall needs something … to be covered up or to go pee. As I read further, I learned that this teacher is truly stressed out. More guilt creeps in because I am not stressed out. Should I be? If I cared more, would I be? What’s happened to me? Do I still care? Do I care enough about my students if I am not waking in the middle of the night? Do I care enough about my students if I don’t spend time with them outside of class (i.e. extra-curricular)? The truth is, I do care, but I think sometimes I just have a really odd (and maybe not so desirable) way of showing it.
I send text messages to my students’ parents.
I send students to the support room to complete assignments.
I give students a hard time about being late for class.
I ask why a student missed a class.
I call students on “excuses.”
I tell students to quit complaining.
I set deadlines, and there are consequences when deadlines aren’t met.
I get the principal(s) involved for issues I cannot deal with myself.
I lock the door to my classroom to teach students it’s not acceptable to be late.
I take away students’ phones, so they will listen in class.
I don’t allow students to leave class early to go for lunch with their grandparents.
I force students to stay on task.
I separate students from their peers.
I tell students to put their phones away if they’re using it at an inappropriate time.
I tell students to take the headphones out of their ears so they can hear what I (or someone else) has to say.
I tell students to be quiet so they can hear the announcements.
I refuse to take in a half-ass assignment.
I get p*ssed off … I mean … really irritated when students waste sooooo much class time doing what I consider to be nothing.
One of the main points that the author of this article speaks about is how students are developing a habit of quitting. He describes many ways that students “quit.” When I think about the 84 students I am teaching this semester, I see sooo much evidence of quitting, it sickens me. Be sure to watch the video 🙂
However, there are a few things I hope the students of today will consider quitting:
Quit using your phone when a teacher is addressing the class.
Quit coming to class late.
Quit accepting less than your best.
Quit letting your peers influence you in a negative way.
Quit backtalking adults.
Quit making fun of others.
Quit being nasty.
Quit rushing through your school work.
Quit using your phone when you should be learning.
Quit skipping opportunities.
Quit thinking the lesson of the day doesn’t matter.
Quit listening to music … all … the … time.
Quit skipping classes.
Quit eating in the computer lab when you know darn well you shouldn’t be.
Quit excluding others.
Quit giving into temptation.
Quit wasting class time.
Quit talking when you should be listening.
Quit opting out.