Only the Good (Teachers) Die Young

Caution: This is a serious post.  Read at your own risk.

This has been the week from hell.  On Monday, my superior called me into his office after school.  I already knew what he would say.  Too many of my kids were failing.

This is where I have issues with education.  I have students who do not do their work.  In return, they have low grades, and as a result, I have to fix it.   God forbid that we hold students culpable for their own effort.  I was told these students had to pass, and I needed to do “whatever it takes” to get them passing.

I spent half of the evening on that Valentine’s Day calling parents who had been called the previous Thursday to tell them that their children were failing.  Still.

Then, I spent every school hour hunting down students.  I pulled them into my room in the morning; I pulled them out of electives; I pulled them out of lunch. I kept them after school.  I called parents again.  Rinse. Repeat.

In the end, I have pulled about a 60 hour workweek (so far; today is Thursday) hunting down students who didn’t care whether or not they passed my class and calling parents who didn’t care whether or not their children passed my class.  Many of the parents I called were put off by the audacity that I would call them to tell them that their children were failing.

Why?  So my administrators don’t look bad.  The results would have been the same if the students had failed.  They would go on regardless of their grades.  No student fails a grade from failing grades.  They aren’t held back even if they fail the standardized tests they take.  And they know it.  That is why they don’t do their best in the first place.  They know the system, and they call our bluffs every time.

In the meantime, I haven’t slept on account of the stress.  I’ve totaled less sleep in a week than hours I’ve worked in a single day.

Heart.  Palpitations.

“I’m telling you baby,
You know that only the good die young …”

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3 thoughts on “Only the Good (Teachers) Die Young

  1. I am praying for you and all of the teachers in ___________. I am also praying for your students. May the Lord soften your students hearts to himself and to you. Hang in there. What you do makes a great deal of difference weather you see it in the short term or not.

  2. That is one of my biggest problems in general with education. Let’s hold kids accountable, regardless of it is makes us look bad because it is what is good for the kids. I am annoyed for you.

  3. That sucks in a serious way. Sorry you had a bad week last week. I wish I had some words of advice to offer you, but the sad fact is that you are not the first educator who has told me such a tale. All I know is that you have an honest passion for your work and a genuine concern for your students. Many teachers don’t have that. Don’t let the bureaucratic red tape take that away from you.

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