Monday, April 27, 2015

I Hate School

That's what a note from one of my students read. This particular student isn't one who gets into trouble, or one of our adventurous students. She's a sweet child and most often desires to please her teacher. And while children at this point in life often exaggerate current circumstances, she has an apparent disdain for school, and it isn't something that has recently developed.
A harrowing moment for any teacher when you find that even your most motivated students are disenchanted with school. 
I would like to say that every day is fun. Or that even most days are fun. Or that my lesson are as inspiring as when my 1st grade teacher made our classroom into a rainforest, and each unit was based off the biome we learned and "lived" in for the year. I would like to say that my students experience education, with a cultural relevant curriculum that incorporates their life and cultural experiences. Further being that their learning is facilitated in a manner that understands most Black children's habits and behaviors, and doesn't label them as having ADHD.  But none of this is true.

I'm certain that she is not the only student who feels this way. In my reflection, I've realized that I have cheated my students of an education that can make them proud of their work. As we are in the midst of crunch time, there is little time for inquiry or even fun. And it seems we've been in crunch time since September.

I wish it were true that the pressure and frustration I experience don't get passed onto my students. Just today, I was pulled aside and shown my data; It was highlighted that not enough growth had been made over the course of the year. That I was losing ground in what I had been successful in early on. Previously, I've mentioned that I am about 19 days from administering a high stakes assessment. However, that data in question is from a low stakes test that has no bearing on promotion nor my evaluation... HUH?!

 Schools are living, breathing staple institutions in communities. But when they are suffocated with an  disconnected and downright nonsensical expectations, you either become overwhelmed, or disengaged. The presence of apathy and defeat are common among teachers and students, I can certainly attest to this, and the writer of this note can as well.  This is in no way the best environment for learning to occur.

Although jaded, I still show up and believe that we can breath life back into their learning. So to my student, "I know you hate school, but I'd like to show you a new kind of school." Lets begin to rethink schools and how we educate our future.  

1 comment:

  1. I have been following the "i hate school" Twitter crowd for a couple of months now. Thank you for this post; I firmly believe we need to pay attention.