Hello and happy Saturday. You know sometimes how you’re having second thoughts about something and then this thing happens and makes you just sort of give up and not even continue to debate with yourself whether that something is worth it or not?
Well, let me explain myself. I’m currently a preschool English teacher, which is not exactly what I wanted to do (I mean, I love teaching but I’ve always preferred elementary school), but it’s been alright and I’ve learned a ton about early education and teaching young learners, especially those who can’t read or write.
I’ve had one teeny tiny problem throughout this whole school year, and it is the parents of my first graders. I’m not sure why they hate me, but they do. They continually send notes my way, and they have this whatsapp group where they basically come up with ways to make me miserable. I mean, I know that’s not the sole purpose of the group, but they complain about literally every thing I do.
That teeny tiny situation has progressively annoyed me, although I have to remind myself whenever my boss calls me to talk because some parents said something yet again that the school year is almost over and so will my classes with this grade. It’s funny, because pre-k and kindergarten parents don’t have any problems with me, and they’re actually very supportive.
A few weeks ago, I wasn’t having the best time at work because I had too much to do and no help at all. Besides, I had stuff going on outside of work, which hopefully I’ll be able to tell you about in a while. I was having class with my kindergarten boys when something made my cup fill and spill all over me, the floor, and basically everything around me.
Here’s what happened. I’d just told my kinder boys to stand up, when one of them sort of jump and kicked my hand. Now, he’s a big boy and full of force, so it hurt where he hit me. Of course, I thought it had been an accident, you know, as a teacher I’ve got accidentally smacked on the chest and butt more times that I could count, but I wasn’t feeling patient and comprehensive, so instead of talking to the boy, I sent him to talk to my boss, who is in charge of supervising behavior.
A few minutes later, when the class was almost over, the boy came back. He had to sign a disciplinary report, which I had to fill explaining the situation. Now, I’m not the one in charge of assigning this kind of punishments or whatever you’d like to call them, but I thought that an accidental kick wasn’t really worthy of signing a report. I asked my boss what she’d talked with the boy and she told me he’d admitted to intentionally having thrown a kick at me.
When she told me that, all my happy teacher thoughts and all the patience I had left sort of vanished. I can deal with annoying parents because I’m not working with them but with their kids. I can take that, at least for the rest of this year and then hope next year will be better. But man, I can’t take a six-year-old boy hitting me because he feels like it.
I know many people talk about kids and parents these days in a way that’s sort of like resigned, like the future generations are screwed because parents don’t know what to do with their children, but that’s wrong. I know kids who have good manners and who raise their hands to talk, and who respect the role of the adult. I know kids who try their best to behave well and who apologize when they make mistakes, not because there’s going to be a consequence but because that’s the right thing to do.
What I’ve seen throughout this school year is a group of parents who try to make up for their lack of authority towards their children and for, let’s just say it once and for all, their lack of parenting skills, by raising little tyrants and throwing them in the hands of us, teachers, not only to educate them in the academic disciplines, but also to raise them. I’m sorry if this offends anyone, but I think it’s not the job of a teacher to demand kids to say hello, and please and thank you. It is not our job to demand kids to apologize when they’ve acted wrongly, especially if at home children are not asked to apologize.
After that boy hit me and after knowing he’d done it purposefully I made my official decision to work in this school until the school year is over. I can’t be at a place where children are being raised that way, and don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked with “trouble” kids before, but I’ve seen a progress in them, and more importantly, I’ve seen parents who are committed to helping their children, but also to helping me in the process. I currently feel like I’m alone, struggling with bad parental models and people reluctant to commit to their children growing up as good people, and I feel no support whatsoever, so as hard as it is, I’ll be starting the school year 2017-2018 elsewhere and hope that there I found a model based in respect, like the one I was raised it.
Have you had an experience similar to the one I shared? What did you do about it?
Love, Miss Camila