Why the hell do we, NYC public school teachers, have to bribe our students to get them to do what they're supposed to be doing? How big do the bribes have to be? And ultimately, shouldn't we realize that the bribes don't matter because if our students don't value what an education can do for them, then it doesn't matter how much we pay/offer them: they won't put their heart into it.
So, why do I ask such a depressing question that probably doesn't offer any answers, just more questions?
It's been one of those weeks where I've been wondering if I have the stamina and mental endurance to make it in this profession. I suppose I do, but maybe not teaching over-age, under-credited students. I can literally feel the black turning to gray in my hair during the school day. And I'm not exactly in a hurry to look like John Slattery, regardless of how cool he is on Mad Men.
I accept that some of my students face harsh realities: no parental involvement, broken homes, no homes, teen pregnancies, the list goes on. Not all of them have this, but some do. The problem is, these realities have reordered their priorities and for most, it has taken away their ability to see that what they're neglecting right now is their only way out. And if they can't see the benefit of going through the system, will they truly be able to convince their children to stay in school? Just thinking about this gives me a headache.
These kids. Our schools. They're fucked unless we get some radical change. And pushing to get rid of teacher unions or threatening to lay off teachers is hardly radical. It's fucking stupid. Talk about missing the point (and the problem).