This week my students take their mid-semester exams. It also marks the beginning the semi-annual whine festival; especially among the seniors. Their continued enrollment and graduation is on the line. Participation in the program is voluntary. If students aren’t benefiting from the program then they can go back to their home school. If they aren’t attending or they are failing they aren’t benefiting from it. It sounds rough, but it is the reality. There is a waiting list with anxious parents calling daily.
We celebrate their success, but it has to be genuine success. If they don’t their assignments or attend class, there is nothing for to cheer them for. Somewhere along the line they learned to expect to things to be given to them, even grades. They think if they do the work, no matter when or how, that they should get credit. They talk back and do all manner of disrespectful things. Yet, We love them.
Each and everyone of them.
Not all of them are whiners. But they are all teenagers and mothers. They all deserve a quality education, even if they don’t understand why they need it.
So we give them chance after chance, but then there comes the day when their nine lives have run out and there is nothing more we can do or should do. That’s when we have to stand back and let them have their dose of reality. We let them fail, fall on their bums and dust themselves off.
Please don’t respond telling me that I am a saint. I am not. Plus, it makes me uncomfortable when people call me or my fellow teachers one. We are all human beings.
Beings that love what we do and don’t give up on the girls, but that doesn’t make us saints. We are beings with mortgages, heart aches and issues.
I am real person with faults and problems. Right now my car is in the shop and I don’t have the money to free it. The pantry and frig are nearly as empty as my checking account. I am stressing over that and the fight my furry kids had. One has a gash in his leg, wounded tail and damaged ego. Jack spent the entire day on top of the cabinets watching his canine brother. My dearest Boogie is scratched up and feeling guilty.
For a couple of hours last night, I was angry and then fell into a pit of self pity. I crawled out with some furry love and the wise words of an old friend. I don’t have the confidence of a saint nor do I want to placed on a pillar; it is too hard to balance and they are awful high.
Also, saints don’t procrastinate. Their bad habits are wash away by time and admiration. Mine haven’t been cleansed. No amount of praise is going to transform me into a saint. I delay at times doing I know should and needs to be done; mostly because getting started on something is often the hardest thing to do. I have issues and anxieties which still cause me to put off things and pull the covers over my head. Just try getting me into the doctor’s office.
I even delay writing, something I love. Maybe it is stress… and being a real live human being complete with issues sans the halo.