Last Day of School

Today marks the last day of my tenth year of teaching.  I will have to work a couple more days to close out the year but after today I won’t have anymore students. Today is kind of bittersweet because it may be my last day with the students at my current school. I have an interview next week which would potentially give me a job within 15 minutes from home. I currently drive 50 minutes each way to my current school. As I reflect on the last ten years I realize how much has changed in education. I believe the students should come first but I also believe that you have to value and respect your teachers. I have noticed over the last few years how much that has changed. Most students don’t respect or value their teachers at all. They blame teachers when they aren’t successful without taking any responsibility for their own part in the situation. Many students think just showing up in class is enough to get by in school. The value of education and learning is being left behind for other pursuits. I am sad to see the state our education in this country. We are pushing our students to achieve in so many aspects that they can’t even breathe most of the time. The need to be involved in not only school but extra-curricular activities so that they can prove to colleges that they are worthy of admittance. My own children are no exception with theater and computer science being the forefront of interest in our house. Students need to have a desire to learn to truly be successful and somehow through strict testing and so much pressure we have created a group of kids that really don’t care beyond their immediate lives. These students aren’t looking to the future and making plans because all they can focus on is today or maybe next week if you’re lucky. I know not all students fall into this category but I have seen first hand that the number of empathetic students every year seems to increase. I’m not sure what we are doing work as a society that is causing this lack of interest in education. I think it is awful that students don’t realize that education is the one thing that can never being taken from them once achieved. I know things are different now than when I was a student in high school but it makes me sad to see the state of my students. My own children struggle with the desire to achieve their best. It seems like students to day want to just get by. They want to do as little as possible to get through their classes. I know things were different when I was in school so I have to put a lot of the blame on my generation as parents. We are too focused on protecting our kids instead of just letting them fail and succeed in their own tasks. As the years have passed, I have seen more and more parents getting irate and demanding that grades be changed or that their child has been unfairly treated at school. I don’t doubt that there is occasion for both of these complaints, but the majority of the time it is simple ridiculous and unfounded. The parents’ lack of support and respect for teachers and administrators has caused an increased lack of respect among the students. We are literally creating a society of entitled people who think they shouldn’t have to work hard to be successful in life. How did we get to this point? I hope people start to realize the state of things in our world before we are dependent on a bunch of selfish entitled jerks to take care of us in our old age.

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