Thursday, April 16, 2015

That Which Does Not Kill Us, Makes Us Drink

Well, today didn't make me drink.  Just cry.  Kids can be so mean.  We all know this.  And today several of my students made some very poor choices.  Choices that hurt others deeply...... emotionally.  And as I had to sit and explain those choices to the mother of one of the hurt children, I cried.  She cried.  I just kept thinking, "What if this had happened to my daughter?'  And I cried.

I don't think becoming a mother eight years ago has made me a better teacher.  But it has changed the way I look at my students.  I always think, "What if this happened to my child?"  And becoming a mother has REALLY changed the way I look at parents.  Today, as I called a parent of a child who said something very hurtful and derogatory to another student, I became absolutely enraged.  The mother replied, "What provoked him?"  As if such language would ever be justified!  Of course, this explains a lot, doesn't it?  And not that it matters, but the child was not provoked in any way whatsoever.  He was just being cruel.  There will be no consequences for this child.  In this parent's eyes, I am the enemy.  I am "out to get" her child.  But if he had been the victim today, I would have been crying there with her.  But he is never the victim.  (Well, if you ask her you will probably get a different opinion.)

Days like today suck the life out of you.  Your heart aches for the children that are hurt.  But your heart also aches for the children that are allowed to continue to behave in ways that harm others.  As teachers, we can only do so much during the six and a half hours, 180 days per year they are with us.  It's a losing battle much of the time.  I'm not saying it isn't worth trying - of course you always try.  Every once in a while you do make a dent.  But you can only take so much before you need to cry.  Or drink.  Or both.  ;-)

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