A Teacherly First

I wrote my first parent email Tuesday. We are working on sophomore papers over our latest book, and because we have 3 teachers (my cooperating teacher, the associate, and myself) we have split each class into thirds in order to work with them individually. One of my students is struggling to complete some pre-writing that was due about 5 class days ago. In fact, it still isn’t turned in despite multiple occasions where the student has promised to complete the work or meet with me.

However, what I was most surprised about with this situation was my response to it. I’m not angry or frustrated, I’m legitimately concerned. It’s not even about the quality or the timeliness of the work, but that the student does not show any desire to try.

And it isn’t just this student; apathy is rampant among students. Neurologically, it is explained as a response to the highly technologically advanced “experiences” student have through video games and movies, socially, it is described as evidence of a disjointed family life, but academically? Academically, it is written off as the effects of ineffective education.

I often wonder how I can possibly break down that wall of apathy. As some of you may know, I’m a generally energetic and passionate person, although I have experienced what it’s like to wake up literally feeling like I can’t feel or do anything anymore. It’s overwhelming. I see some students and know that they are going through some storms, some of them so used to chaos they don’t even know what it’s like to have a supportive family who affirms, disciplines, and encourages them to be better. It breaks my heart (and reminds me why I couldn’t teach little kids; I’d love them WAY too much and my female instincts would go into protective mode, rendering me useless as a neutral party).

As I was reminded this week, the only thing I can do is pray for and love my students. I could use some more work on being faithful in prayer. I really enjoy my classes and have so much hope for them. If you think of it, take some time this week to pray for and encourage teachers you know. It definitely makes a difference!

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