disclaimer or something

A mummy-hand holding, (former) biker gang affiliating, hippie influenced semi crunchy granola mom's ramblings and reminisings on an off-kilter life

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Quiet Voice

I cannot yell. I cannot even raise my voice, it crackles and squeaks at a decibel above speaking and that is it.

I don't need to yell. Where does yelling get you? No where; well, unless up are being kidnapped or need to scare away wild animals in which case I am screwed.

Yesterday, one of my students says to me, "you are too nice. The class won't listen cause you don't get mad and yell". Should I (assuming I were able) need to yell in a classroom and get all vocally violent? No.

But I am silently screaming. I have 33-39 high school students per class. I had 45 yesterday because a few came from another class to use my computers and a few got locked out of class. 45 inner-city at risk youth, taking exams, on a Friday, hooped up on leftover Halloween candy. And they refuse to all shut the bleep up when I give instructions or a lecture. Their rudeness makes me silently scream am then I end up silently scolding myself. If only I could yell to be heard, maybe they would listen. If I could yell and scold them they would listen.

I feel like a little mouse stuck in a wildebeest stampede.

I have engaging lessons I worked hard on that just go to waste.

I feel like they don't care. Most don't and it is in part the education system and in part, their "at risk" home life.

I care about each and every one of them but they won't let me show it. Many pass with a D- at 20% by doing, well, 20% so why give their all? Why listen to me?

I feel like it is a disservice to them, to pass them at 20% because in the real world, that is failing.

I feel like I am giving 120% for them to pay attention to 20%. And it is incredibly exhausting.

Maybe, I tell myself, if I could just yell like every other teacher, they might listen.


  1. If it helps, I yell at my junior high students, and they still don't listen. Your kids sound a lot rougher than mine. Good luck to you.

  2. I get this. Sometimes when my students weren't listening, I would say something really random and bizarre just to have the few students paying full attention get it, start laughing, and make everyone else tune in more too. However, I truly think one of the greatest issues with the current education system is student apathy. Apathy is absolutely contagious. One of my course rules is: "Apathy has no place in this classroom." I always ask them to define apathy on the first day, and they look at me like I'm speaking alien. Keep trying; just keep trying. I have a deep trust that you will. :)

  3. Oh, this made my heart ache. I don't know how teachers do it: keep their spirits and enthusiasm up term after term, year after year, in the face of so much apathy and disrespect. But someone like you will (has!) made a difference for at least one kid, even if you don't see it now.

  4. Apathy is worse than anything, I swear. If my son tells me he doesn't care or says "So what" I come unhinged. I just hope he gets it.

    As a parent, I hope my kids get teachers like you. Hang in there!

  5. I honestly don't know how teachers do this, I have the uttermost respect for all of you! It must be exhausting to put in so much energy and getting almost nothing in return =/ All I can say is hang in there!