My friend The Frustrated Teacher wrote a quite funny, yet sad, post on Facebook the other night about a foray of his into substitute teaching. It really hits home at what is happening to our society and to our educational values.
With his permission, I am sharing it here.
Putting the 28 most dysfunctional kids in the same split 4th/5th class is a bad idea.
Today's experience marks the first time I have left a classroom because
I couldn't handle the kids. Admittedly, they were running around with
scissors threatening to kill each other, and there were 2 fistfights in
the room, and 2 kids called their moms on banned cell phones, who then
showed up at the door demanding I release their kids, or else....
Split the kids up. Move them to other rooms. Stop giving them boring
worksheets (which were my sub plans for the day, and obviously what goes
on most days, as the regular teacher can't handle them either, I hear).
Stop coming in the class, Principal and her henchmen to tell them it's
the African American kids who are shaming the AA adults, and that's why
they should behave.
Clean the room; I saw a custodian.
When a parent shows up to pick up their kid, who called them from a
phone they weren't supposed to have, only to complain that the sub is
trying to teach and in the process asked for quiet, which was apparently
offensive, mom, send that parent back home without the kid. Or demand
that the parent take the phone from the kid, then leave. But don't
support this ridiculous, anti-teacher, anti-school behavior from
When the teacher called my mom it was because I was in
trouble. If I called my mom it was because I was hurt. Nowadays, kids
call their moms from smuggled cell phones, make shit up about the
teacher to get mom to come, and the 'bad teacher' meme gets perpetuated,
erroneously. The parent/school partnership does not mean that stupidity
or bad parenting gets respect. That's just stupid.
If we are
going to attempt to solve poverty inside schools --which seems to be the
idea, lately-- then schools can't pander to horrible parents.
The cycle of generational poverty was on display inside that room today.
Surely it was all my fault. I mean, I was the teacher.