What kids need

Today’s blog topic: What do you hope your kids will say about you when they’re adults?

I hope “my” schoolkids come back to me in 10 years and tell me that I either told them something that made a positive difference in their lives, or did something that set a positive example that later affected a decision they had to make.

I already have had one boy, who is in high school now, tell his mom he hadn’t learned anything new in math since my sixth grade class. His mom told me this recently. And one of my girls, who just graduated from a prestigious, hard-to-get-into high school, and is now in college, said that she attributed her straight-A academic career to me. I had to tell her it was all her own motivation, but she wouldn’t listen! 🙂

I hope one of the boys I have now lands on his feet and makes the most of himself after he leaves me. He’s highly intelligent, but has a lot of obstacles to overcome. I’ve had to tell another child, “hate me now, but thank me later.” I hope he does, thank me, that is, but at the moment he is hating me for expecting him to behave himself and do his schoolwork.

It’s difficult to work with kids sometimes, but I can’t lose sight of the fact that I am here to teach and guide, not be their friend. In addition to teaching them academically, I need to be there for them emotionally, and give them a stable, safe environment in which to learn. It hurts to sometimes make decisions that I know they won’t like now, but I hope the things I do benefit them in the long run.


2 thoughts on “What kids need

  1. Since my kids are adults, I don’t think I want to know what they say about me. Now, as for the kids my wife and daughter teach in their classes at school, they do have students that come back and thank them occasionally. More likely, though, they will never know what changes they introduced that help the students in their future. In fact, many students may never recognize how much any individual teacher helped them. All you can do is care for them and do your best (while maneuvering past principals, district rules, legislative decisions, troubled kids, fellow teachers, upset parents, …).

    • Yes, all those things to maneuver around. If people only knew what the job really is, they would be horrified.

      A few other teachers and I were talking about why we think the kids are so out of control, and we attributed it to parents having to work long hours or a couple of jobs, and the kids are unsupervised a lot of the time. Therefore, they have not been taught proper behavior. Also, when the parents get time for them, the kids whine until they get their way, and they think it works that way in school. Then I become the “meanie” for not giving in to them and letting them go crazy all day long. I can hardly even do my job this year, it’s all trying to keep them under control and from disrupting the whole class. I remarked to these other teachers that I had 3 or 4 girls who behave themselves and come to school ready to learn. The response was, “wow, you have that many???” Sad.

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