Mamacita says: This is my answer to a teacher forum question: Why does it seem that students have so many issues nowadays?”
Many parents don’t want to take the responsibility and administrators don’t want to anger these parents. Too many parents expect the school to supply everything and BE everything because the parents don’t know how, don’t want to, it’s inconvenient, they’d rather buy cigarettes and beer than mittens and socks, and they themselves were brought up to believe that society OWED them, when in fact society owes nobody anything. Our schools are expected to feed, clothe, counsel, medicate, analyze, supply, and educate each child according to his/her individual requirements, and no institution or individual can do that properly if all are to be accommodated – there aren’t that many hours in the day. Somebody has to be ignored and that ‘somebody’ is our good, well-behaved, average-and-above kids, who get pretty much nothing while the misbehaving attention-grabbing brat kid next to them gets all kinds of attention.
Our schools should be there to educate those who wish to be educated. Our schools are not should not be places to park a kid who has no intention of cooperating with the teacher or doing a lick of schoolwork. Students who need a little extra help and who respond to it, yes, give them that extra help. This rant is not about that; it’s about a kid who knowingly and eagerly disrupts and cares nothing about learning, only about making waves. Besides, I’m willing to give a kid the benefit of the doubt, at least in the beginning; whereas, their parents are supposed to be adults who should know better if they’re worth a toot.
Our schools should not be substitutes for a home, and unfortunately, for far too many kids today, school is the closest thing to a decent home a kid has, because at his real home, mom is shacked up with his seatmate’s dad, REAL dad is in jail or living with his parents who are enabling his immature behavior, every adult in the kid’s life is behaving more like a child than the children are, nobody is training him, nobody is disciplining him, and everywhere he goes, he gets his own way because nobody wants to deal with a tantrum, a fit, or anything from him that indicates displeasure of any kind. OR, he’s completely ignored because Mommy and/or Daddy have their own lives to pursue, and those lives are mostly in pursuit of pleasure on someone else’s dollar. Either way, genuine consequences as a result of his own actions are unknown, because the school is required to throw a cushion over him to protect him from such things, and 86-year-old Grandma is too tired and too disgusted with her own kids and too out-of-touch to raise a child in the 21st century, and because, oh poor little thing, his life is AWFUL and we must all tiptoe around him. The home has no books, no magazines (except the dirty ones the child has full access to, in Mom and Uncle Daddy’s bedroom) the house is full of liquor and tobacco and worse, they can’t pay the rent but they’ve got a full liquor cabinet and a huge flat-screen LCD tv and plenty of cigarettes, there are no bedtimes and no privacy and no personal possessions – either at home OR at school – and most of the meals are supplied by our tax dollars. Nobody in this kid’s life works, except for his teachers, and they are referred to at home as “suckers,” and expected to fill in for ho-babe mommy and her various live-ins, none of whom have a job or intend to ever get one, and the kids are great sources of extra welfare money.
This is pretty harsh, but it accurately describes about a third of most of the public school kids I’ve had, and their “families.”
The rest of the kids were sweet, well-mannered, well-behaved, smart, and worked hard, but the majority of the time, attention, and money went to the lowest common denominator. This is unacceptable.
I am extremely harsh with adults who do not act as such. They do not deserve sympathy; their children do, but the adults in their lives do not. It’s a shame we can’t permanently remove innocent children from these dens of disgusting, immoral adults and put them with loving families who would take proper care of them.
My college students often write about their childhoods, and the majority of them wish somebody in authority would have removed them from their mothers’ homes and placed them with somebody who was actually grown up, and who did not subject them to such antics as shacking up with men who didn’t care enough about them to make it legal, and forcing a child to witness it. Even the drugs and booze didn’t affect my students as much as having to live with adults who didn’t love them enough to make the relationship legally bonding. What do you think goes through a kid’s mind when he knows either Mom or Dad could walk out the door any time things didn’t go his/her way? And yes, I know that many marriages don’t work out, but I also believe most of those would if both parties would just buck up and GROW up and act like the adults they’re supposed to be. That means, of course, that people would need to keep their hormones under control, therefore keeping unlawful penii out of their pants, and one’s own out of unlawful pants. That’s too difficult for some people. We all know what kind.
Y’all should just read some of my students’ essays some time. Sometimes, I cry over them, late at night, and wish I could go back in time to somehow get some grown-up sense in their parents’ heads before they ruined an innocent kid. With some mentalities, though, I have also come to believe that no amount of anything can change the way people are wired, and some people are wired to look out for #1 and do whatever feels good for THEM. Nobody else has any rights.
Bah. Bad day, can ya tell?
I’m reading an essay by a forty-year-old man who is telling me of his life with his mother, who had him at thirteen, kept him so she could be “loved unconditionally, and get a lot of welfare money, too” and ended up raising himself because Mommy had a right to be a free and fun-loving teen, didn’t she? Her life shouldn’t stop because of one stupid mistake, should it? She’s got a right to a life! He writes of his mom’s string of shack-ups and how, after the first five or six, he stopped trying to bond with them because it hurt too badly when they left, and they all left. He writes of a mother who has dated his classmates. He writes of Uncle Daddies who claimed to love him but left him anyway. He writes of wanting desperately to go with some of the Daddies but Mommy wouldn’t let him go because “she couldn’t LIVE without her baby” which didn’t take him long to translate into “I can’t LIVE without the welfare money you bring in because it buys my cigarettes.”
And this is only one of many, all similar, all wishing their parents had been committed adults, instead of adults who should have been committed.
To some of our kids, the word “adult” means “dirty.” They don’t even KNOW any grownups, except for us.
Many of you younger teachers think I’m jaded and opinionated and judgmental, and that you have a perfect right to live as you please and old fogies like me should butt out. I used to think like that, too, until experience, and interaction with children of these dreadful non-existent “families,” taught me otherwise.
I do not say these things to pick on or hurt anyone; but I hope some people can learn from them. Not that getting older and more experienced makes you judgmental, but that experience forces you to see things as a child might see them, and might go out and do likewise.
I’m stopping now before I have an aneurysm.