TEACHING IS AN OPPORTUNITY AND A CHOICE DESPITE THE CONDITIONS.
IT IS ALSO A CHALLENGE.
THIS MESSAGE IS FOR ALL THE TEACHERS ON THIS BOARD AND THOSE WHO LOVE AND SUPPORT THEM.
No matter where you are teaching it is a challenge. There are systemic reasons that impact resources. There are behavioral and leanring challenges that impact teaching. There are staff changes, federal mandates that challenge systems. There are natialnal standards that do not always appear to be culturally sensitive. There is limited parental, and community involvement that in my opinion communicate to the students that adult people do not always care about them; resources are few but available but can not be accounted for; negative press about the bad stuff and too little to say about most of the positive things that youth and school personnel are involved in. There those who do not welcome students with disablities with open arms in the least restrictive learning settings. There are hidden agendas that could play out in the overall success of students and much much more.
On the other hand schools are wonderful places or have the potential despite what they do not have, or what all is wrong. Schools are places were teachers, can reach children who come despite all of what is going wrong. In the worst of schools by some views there are teachers who are creative in that they have an arena to practice there skills and use them to transition youth from school to the adult world of work.
Research states that many adults who receive young people into the workforce and other adult life situations are telling us that young people are not as prepared as they would like them to be especially with the soft skills work ethic, basic academic skills, team player mentality, self advocacy, self determination and so forth. Thus employers have to retrain in areas that we as adults perhaps were more equipped with by the age of 18 (or mayby not).
All I am trying to say is most college programs that prepare teachers share or should share with their majors what type of situations that will be facing them as they accept various assignments,and what type of challenges they may have including strategies to overcome limitations. Violence, drugs, abuse, hatred, low expectations, adult and student illiteracy are still present and growing. Students are dropping out, and winding back in the same cycles that were present in the past.
I have had students that came from affluent systems with the best resources and even good parent involvement that are struggling as adults to find themselves and make the right choices. I have had students from oppressed school situations that pushed themselves against the odds and became successful productive citizens in their communities. There is always someone out there that is willing to help our youth in any of these situations despite the challenges.
It is my opinion that we as teachers have the opportunity to use what ever we can to prepare our youth where ever we find ourselves working. Yes we may be in sub-standard facilities so we educate our youth to fight for better conditions along with the adults. We might find ourselves in very steril highly technological learning envirnments that might not allow students to have as much teacher student involvement that is needed for their development.
Check yourself teachers, don't get discourged and burnt out. Take time for yourself, and have fun teaching children.
And yes there is a critical need for teachers all over the world.
Thank you Melody for this heartfelt post. I'm sure that everyone has heard about the shooting at CAHS yesterday and we are having to deal with yet another tragedy only 10 days after an arson gutted a classroom. Please keep the injured student in your prayers, as well as the families involved. The shooter, apparently, had only just been released from the juvenile detention center on STX and was only in school for a day or two before this incident occurred. We are all quite shaken by this experience and there will be grief counselors here almost every day this week. A huge number of students witnessed the shooting, as it happened as classes were changing from 3rd to 4th period. I was off-campus during the event but returned to a lock-down situation, with the shooter still on the loose. I believe that the victim has come through surgery well and will make a full recovery.
On a more positive notre, I'm sitting here in my computer lab, listening to the Senior Council plan for their prom and graduation. These students are ready to move forward and make a difference in the world and in their community. Of the students that graduate from CAHS, 80% will go on to college. Last year, our seniors received over 1 million dollars combined in scholarship money.
I'm not ready to give up or quit yet, but I must admit that I don't feel very safe. I can only imagine how the students feel.
Amen! And here is a link to an editorial in the Daily News today: http://www.virginislandsdailynews.com/index.pl/article_editorial?id=17603537
My one argument with it is that they compare the base salary with the average salary, which are actually two different things! 😉 (Boy, am I glad I stayed awake in that statistics class!)