Friday, April 6, 2012
Roughly eight weeks left in this school year, and my thoughts dwell on my students.
Some are promising, and some are aggravating. Some don't stand a chance in hell, and some I'd hire today and never regret it. Some break my heart, and some stomp on it. Like most places in life, a very few of them make up for the failings of all the rest.
I have to keep reminding myself... these are KIDS.
At this point, I expect this to be my last year teaching at the high school level. Not knowing what is coming next, I sincerely hope... and am working towards... a future where I still work with young folks just starting out. Be it industry, education, or most likely... both at the same time.
What I wish for, or should say 'need', is the ability to be selective in who I invest myself into. Teaching in public school, the instructor deals with whoever the system shoves in the door. One student may have your program as his hearts desire, and give you 100% of his effort and interest every day. The next might be there because his school is utterly sick of his shit, and needed to dump his psychotic criminal ass on someone else. In every class, every year... there is a selection of both.
For a decade, I've spent my life raising other peoples kids. The good, the bad, and even the ugly. I've taken them all at face value, erasing their history in my mind, and let them build themselves anew in front of me... helping those I could, encouraging those I could, and teaching those I could. Some bloomed. Some coasted. Some exploded into life at a dead run. Some I barely managed to keep out of jail while I had some influence on them. Some I couldn't even do that much.
Ten years raising other peoples kids, battling ignorance and indifference, leading, pushing, cajoling, intriguing, challenging.....
It's ending because I refuse to battle that same ignorance, indifference, and yes... animosity... from the school administration as well as the students. I'm good with staying in the saddle as part of a team, all working towards giving these kids a chance at better lives. I'm not good with being a modern day George Custer analogy, fighting a battle while surrounded by hostile forces, in an ever shrinking circular battle line towards an inevitable end.
So.... what does the future hold for this author?
Oh My...... such wide open possibilities. I certainly don't have any assets to mention, so work... and lots of it.... will be the framework of what comes. The rent must be paid, the gas tank filled, and our daily rice and beans to be bought.
That said, how the framework is filled out, therein lives the magic. I woke this morning smiling, thinking about what may be coming down the road.