We are officially in the second week of school here in Texas. Another year I am glad to have the opportunity to be involved and share my love of computer technology and multimedia with high school students.
I feel like I have had the opportunity to learn so much in my two years, going on three at my school. You see, the school where I teach is different than the one I attended. I went to a school where there were quite a few people who had attended the school district since the beginning and many others who had transferred in due to parents relocating for jobs and careers. I was part of group B. We moved to Midlothian due to my father taking on a new role in the company he worked for in Dallas. We all had financial challenges, but we all were still quite comfortable and had everything we needed, some more than others, but our needs were met. The school were I teach has a different assortment of students from various backgrounds. Some students come from a home with both parents and are as comfortable as I was growing up, others live in a home where their parents speak a different language than they do. Some students moved to this area with their parents in order to find new work, while others move to this area ahead of their parents with siblings or other family members in order to find them some work. Some students have a child, others have children, who must leave school to see their child in daycare during lunch, or take the baby to the doctor, or they are concerned about what their “baby momma” is telling their two year old about them and that she’s trying to take the baby away from them. Many students are dealing with walking in the halls, expecting their first child—some are only 14 years old.
Some students don’t live with their mom but they don’t live with their dad either. Maybe they live with a grandparent, cousin, or other family member, sometimes a friend, but they stay with their parent every now and again.
Some students are doing just fine and have two loving parents but someone in their clique got into a fight with another clique last week and then was threatened, and sometimes that carries over into the school. (For the most part though, they do a pretty good job of keeping the gang violence outside the school.)
Some kids face having the electricity being cut off for weeks at a time because the only person able to bring in a paycheck is living off disability, and that does not do much to take care of five or six people. So there is no hot shower, freshly cooked food, and little light at night to do homework.
Some students face the unfortunate circumstance of “how am I going to be able to participate in all these senior activities” because their step parent refuses to pay for any of them in the one income household because that child is not their own offspring.
Some students are just fine.
Some students are not disciplined and just need a good, thick board whipped across their behind.
But others are despite all odds that are against them that otherwise say they should be screwed up. But they are not. They are focused, mature, sincere, and kind.
We can’t make excuses for why students do not succeed in school. We must continue to hold them to high expectations. If we raise the bar, they will meet it. We must teach students how to deal with keeping their life as organized as possible even when the rest of it is chaos.
We must teach our students how to deal with challenges and raise their own bar, despite the fact they have been diagnosed with ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, etc.
I had a moment today where I was talking to a parent over the phone regarding a student skipping out on class after lunch. I am so glad my attitude was different than the one I immediately had when I saw that the student never came back to class. I decided to approach the situation of asking the parent if the child was okay—did they get sick or did something come up during lunch that I did not know about. As it turns out there was something that came up….a situation that I am fortunate that I have not had to deal with while I was in school—partially due to my upbringing, and another partially due to my situation.
My students, my wonderful students. Sometimes I would love to knock some sense into their head using osmosis, but there are other times I wish I could cradle them and love them and give them the world as well. Little do they know how much they teach me day in and day out.
Cheers to a new school year—and keeping my senses. 🙂